f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: February 2012
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - #22 :Silver by Talia Vance





{ ++ }  This weekly event/feature is graciously hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. You know that feeling you get when you're browsing upcoming books on Goodreads or Amazon and one strikes your fancy?  Maybe you squee.  Maybe you giggle to yourself.  Maybe you bounce in your seat. We all get excited (I do a combination of all three of the previous choices...) about new books, be it a favorite author you're familiar with, or someone whose work you'll be reading for the first time.  Jill's meme gives us the chance to spotlight what we are anxiously awaiting this week.




I'm Waiting On...



 Beauty is pointless when no one's looking.

Brianna Paxton has been invisible to guys since the eighth grade. She’s pretty enough, it’s just that no one bothers to look. There’s almost nothing that can’t be explained with science, and Brianna has a theory: she’s missing the pheromone that attracts people to one another. Brianna’s theory is shot to hell in one frozen, silver moment, when time stops and Blake Williams not only sees her, he recognizes something inside her that she’s been hiding from even herself.

Before Brianna fully understands who and what she is, she accidentally binds her soul to Blake. Forced to find a way to reconcile forbidden love and her bloody heritage, Brianna discovers that there's nothing pointless about her, and Blake may be in the most danger of all.

Silver by Talia Vance
Expected publication: September 8, 2012 (Flux)
Add it on Goodreads!

Why it's worth waiting on:  I've been into this one since I first read the synopsis.  The cover was revealed a week or so ago and I immediately swooned harder and KNEW I had to read this one! 






{ ++ } What are YOU waiting on this week?

Leap Into Books Give@way!




{ ++ } Hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and by Jinky Is Reading, what better way to celebrate our shared love of reading than a giveaway?  The "Leap Into Books" Giveway Hop is filled with great prizes from many different blogs.  I am offering the winner the choice of one of several recently released or upcoming novels, most of them debut authors to support the first-time authors, one or two highly anticipated sequels/etc.  So enter, spread the word, have fun...and HAPPY READING!  This giveaway is open until 12:00am on March 6th, 2012! 



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - #12: The Soundtrack of a Story







{ ++ } Hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, this meme features a different theme every week, and hey, it's Tuesday - we've got the rest of the week ahead of us.  We all need a little fun, and who doesn't love the challenge of ranking their top 10 anything...especially when it comes to books?!  I know I do, hence why I thought it'd be fun to participate, and spice things up a little!




February 28: Top Ten Books I'd Give A Theme Song To


{ 1 } Saving June by Hannah Harrington | theme song: "Over You" by Miranda Lambert.  I had this song on repeat while I read this book, and between Harper (the main character) and Miranda Lambert, I fell right into the story.  "Over You" is such a beautiful song, and to me, the lyrics could be that of someone who has lost a loved one, a romantic partner, etc.  They really spoke to me and made Harper's grief even more poignant.  Now, when I see Saving June, which was an amazing, cathartic read in a book store, I think of "Over You," and because the book and the song are all tangled together, I smile, and I think of: "but you went away, how dare you, I miss you.  They say I'll be okay, but I'm not going to ever get over you."

{ 2 } Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | theme song:"Gravity" by Sara Bareilles.  It's a heavy song all about the highs and lows of love, and someone trying NOT to fall in love.  It's one of the most heartrendingly beautiful songs I've ever heard and in my opinion it fits Anna and St Clair as they traveled friendship and slowly, beautifully, more. 

{ 3 } Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver | theme song: "Steer" by Missy Higgins.  This song makes me think of Sam and how she grows SO so much as a person throughout this book, and how she learns, at a high price, how to live her own life. 

{ 4 } The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead | theme song: "We Found Each Other in the Dark" by City & Colour.  I know using a whole series is cheating but the underlying love for me with these books, aside from the heart-pounding plot and awesome characters, was Rose and Dimitri.  So since they are present in each novel and are definitely a factor, I'm cheating!  To me this song is so THEM.  "Cause we're gonna live, we're gonna live, we're gonna live at last."  They went through so much to be together, and because of it were so genuine and amazing.  

{ 5 } Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins | theme song: "Someone Like You" by Adele .  So I'm pretty sure I can't do a Top Ten without mentioning THG at this point.  Mockingjay was terrible.  And amazing.  And ripped me apart.  And I can't think of Mockingjay without thinking of Gale and Katniss, and if there is anyone out there who feels the same way about them as I do (I'm in the minority, but I'm used to it!) this song will, I think, make sense. I can see them, a few years down the road, this song playing.  Maybe I'm in my own little denial world, but...that's okay when it comes to this pairing - aka my heart. 

{ 6 } The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg | theme song: "The Light" Sara Bareilles.  I know this is a little cheesy what with lyrics like "I'll follow you into the light" but this song makes me think of Brie, her journey, and her feelings for Patrick (both when she denies them, and when she doesn't).  (Side note: this book was AMAZING.)

{ 6 } Hourglass by Myra McEntire | theme song: "Hold You In My Arms" by Ray LaMontagne.  Ahh, Emerson and Michael.  They were a bit tormented, a LOT hot, and very emotional and poignant.  This song says it all. 

{ 7 } Delirium by Lauren Oliver | theme song: "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri.  First off, this is one of the most perfect songs about love EVER EVER EVER.  Secondly, it really speaks to me, when I think of Lena and Alex, especially "I will be brave, I will not let anyone take away what's standing in front of me." 

{ 8 } Take This Regret by Amy Lichtenhan | theme song: "As You Turn Away" by Lady Antebellum.  I started playing this song while reading the prologue.  It played almost nonstop throughout the rest of the book.  Take This Regret reached in and got ahold of my heart and did not let go.  It's been months since I finished it and I STILL think about the characters sometimes.  Amy did an amazing job of bringing them and their situation to life, and asking: could you trust or love again someone who had betrayed you?



Okay so that's all I could think of.  I know, I know, I'm a HUGE music geek and I can't get to ten.  In my defense, I'm super tired.  BUT I want to see for sure what y'all came up with, so link me!  I'll visit your blog in return.  : )

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser





Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
Pages: 336
Expected publication: March 8, 2012 (Flux)
Rating: Cringe-worthy
Source: E-ARC from NetGalley
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website


Two families. Four teens.
A summer full of secrets.

Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives.

Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.




My Review

I find myself a bit of a loss as to how to review Pieces of Us.  I knew going into this novel that it was going to be dark, but I don't think I anticipated HOW dark it would turn out to be.  Margie Gelbwasser presents a story that is more than a tale of four troubled teens - it's a look at the darker aspects of humanity. This could have been a very compelling read, because the author's writing is in fact quite good, but somewhere along the lines, it fell apart. 

Told in alternating points of view from sisters Julie and Katie, and brothers Alex and Kyle, Pieces of Us follows two broken families over the course of a year.  Each of the main characters is dysfunctional in various ways, and while the differing points of view were very easy to follow, because the characters are so distinct, I felt at times like the story was moving way too fast between the characters.  Each chapter was only a few pages long, sometimes only two pages, and it had a rather whiplash effect after awhile.  Spending so little time with each character before moving on made it hard to connect with any of them; ironically, the character I liked the most was Kyle, who's second person present point of view was the most detached.  

I had many issues with Pieces of Us, and one of them may seem minor, but there were a great deal of typos in the book.  And not small ones, scattered throughout.  There were a lot, and it would sometimes be misspelled words while in other sentences, a crucial word would be missing, eg "I told Katie to go to the store" would be "I told Katie go to the store."  That really really irked me after awhile - I started wondering if anyone had edited the book.  

My other issues was the parenting, or lack thereof in Pieces of Us.  Kyle and Alex's mother was absolutely horrible - detached to the point that she didn't care if her boyfriends abused her sons - and I despised Katie and Julie's mother.  She was entirely focused on appearances, proud of Katie when she was dating the star athlete, and disparaging of Julie.  Then when the sister's situations were reversed, Julie became the favorite daughter, and seemed to totally forget it wasn't that long ago her mother told her that not everyone could be pretty, and Julie should find another way of attracting friends and romances.   Katie and Julie's father was a weak character who gave in to his wife; she was a vain woman who felt she had "settled" for a different life than she deserved.  I really hated Anna, the sister's mother, to the point that I wanted to crawl into the pages and strangle her.  She did so much damage to both of her daughters. 

Finally the characters were well developed, but I grew more and more disturbed as I read further into Pieces of Us.  With his father's death, Alex became emotionally abusive toward Kyle, going so far as to force him to participate in his sexual trysts, claiming all the while that he was protecting Kyle, that Kyle needed him.  Alex was incredibly misogynistic, while Kyle was struggling to retain a sense of normalcy.  Katie, meanwhile, hid behind so many facades and made various poor choices, and Julie had loyalty to anyone - not to her boyfriend, her family, or friends.  Julie started out as a shy character, jealous of her older, "perfect" sister, and devolved into someone cold and arrogant so fast that my head was spinning.  I did have some hope for Katie and for Kyle in the end, but for the most part these four characters were so broken I doubt any of them could have recovered. 

Overall Pieces of Us is a fast-paced read, which did hold my interest.  I considered not finishing it, but I did want to know what happened to these characters.  I will say that it was a morbidly fascinating read; however, I would not recommend it for younger readers due to extreme themes of abuse, rape, alcohol, and rough sex. There aren't enough good things about it for me to recommend it to anyone, sadly. 


Disclaimer

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.   I review books with no intention of monetary gain; rather, I review books out of my love of reading.  


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue





How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue
Pages: 320
Expected publication: March 13, 2012 (Harper Collins)
Rating: Squee-worthy
Source: E-ARC from NetGalley
Series or Stand-alone: Stand-alone
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author onlineWebsite | Twitter


Funny, free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated, ambitious Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls who know nothing of class differences and scholarships could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.

A decade later, Annie is now a talented, if underpaid, pastry chef who bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death. Julia, a successful businesswoman, is tormented by a painful secret that could jeopardize her engagement to the man she loves. When a chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, they must overcome past hurts and a mysterious saboteur or risk losing their fledgling business and any chance of healing their fractured friendship.




My Review

Debut author Meg Donohue offers readers a delectable tale of friendship and family in How to Eat a Cupcake.  I fell for the story at once, after meeting unorthodox, eccentric Annie Quintana.  Told in alternating points of view from Annie and her childhood friend, Julia St Clair, How to Eat a Cupcake is the heart-wrenching story of the strained relationship these two women share, their once-entwined lives now only distant memories.  Annie tugged at my heart throughout the story; for every chance she takes, something holds her back.  Partially due to her mother's untimely death, and partially due to a betrayal she has not healed from, an apology never received, Annie won't let herself be caught up in Julia's life again, but when they open a cupcakery together, Annie can't keep Julia at arm's length forever.  

Normally I would label a book like this a "chick lit," but although there were many light, funny moments sprinkled like cupcake toppings throughout How to Eat a Cupcake (a nod to both women's various methods of doing so), there is also a great deal of character growth on the parts of both Annie and Julia.  Julia starts out a an ambitious but guarded woman, afraid to confide her secrets in her fiance, and unwilling to admit the part she played in Annie's traumatic senior year in high school - which led to the unraveling of their friendship and set Annie on her course in life.  Over the course of How to Eat a Cupcake, both women grow - back together, through a series of fits and starts, and misunderstandings, and also as individuals.  Annie learns how to let go of her past, and focus on her present, and Julia learns how to open up to those around her.  This growth is done in a totally satisfying way, and never feels forced or fake.  

I also really enjoyed the setting of How to Eat a Cupcake, and watching Annie and Julia's business grow.  (I must have licked my lips a dozen times over the mentions of all the delicious cupcakes!  Meyer lemon, pumpkin, etc)  What starts out as a pet project for Julia and a source of a mixed blessing for Annie slowly blooms into a joy for them both, but it is not without a tumultous year of growing pains.  Someone doesn't want Treat to stay open, and I enjoyed watching the mystery play out.  

There were a few aspects of How to Eat a Cupcake that I did not enjoy, and one of them involved part of Julia's character arc.  Throughout the book, she made a few decisions I thought were not intelligent, even going so far as to put herself in danger.  However beyond that the story was very cute and endearing, including the romances both women experienced.  I found myself cheering for Annie in that aspect, although hers was more of just the beginnings of a possible relationship, but it was one of my favorite parts of the story.  I would recommend How to Eat a Cupcake to fans of Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella, and I will definitely read more of Meg Donohue's work! 

Disclaimer

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.   I review books with no intention of monetary gain; rather, I review books out of my love of reading.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Discussion Post - #2: Trends I'd Like to See More of in Literature



Trends In Literature I'd (and We'd) Like to See MORE Of!

{ | } As a reverse to my last discussion post, this week I'm going to talk about - and ask for input from you guys, my amazing followers - trends or plot devices I would like to see more of in literature, specifically YA literature, since in YA, it seems to be one sweeping trend after another, but as we've already talked about, sometimes those fads get old and worn out, and need revamping, or sometimes, totally done away with.  

So like always, I'll tell y'all what I think and am wanting to see, then it's YOUR turn in the comments.  And remember - I reply to each and every comment, so check back here to keep the discussion going.  : ) 



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - #11 : Top Ten Books I'd Save If...




{ ++ } Hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, this meme features a different theme every week, and hey, it's Tuesday - we've got the rest of the week ahead of us.  We all need a little fun, and who doesn't love the challenge of ranking their top 10 anything...especially when it comes to books?!  I know I do, hence why I thought it'd be fun to participate, and spice things up a little!




February 11: Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens




{ 1 } The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  This is one of my all-time favorite books.  It features a tough, loyal, sensitive, smart-ass hero called Kvothe, action, emotion, history, and magic.  And that doesn't even come close to describing why I love it.  There just aren't words. 

{ 2 } Hourglass by Myra McEntire.  Um.  Emerson + Michael forever.  I think that says enough.  :D  But if it doesn't... Myra's debut novel was full of time-travel, so so so much meaningful emotion, a wonderfully amazing family dynamic between Em and her brother and sister-in-law, a fascinating mythos, and amazing characters plus a sizzling romance.  I truly adored it. 

{ 3 } Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.  There are MANY of her books I'd want to save, but assuming I could only take one, it'd be FITA.  It isn't my absolute favorite of hers but it IS the one that made the biggest impact on me, and part of the reason I got into role playing, which led to meeting two of my best friends. 

{ 4 } Wizard and Glass by Stephen King.  This is the fourth book in his Dark Tower series, and imho, it is also the best.  It's the last one he wrote in the series for some years, and when he came back to the series it was VERY different, a completely different feeling and direction.  I adored Wizard and Glass, even if it was incredibly sad. 

{ 5  } The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan.  I've adored his Wheel of Time series for years, and when he passed, I cried and cried.  The Shadow Rising introduces my favorite female character, Aviendha, and the culture of the Aiel, which I loved learning about, and there was SO much going on that this was just a thrilling read and in some ways, one of my favorites. 

{ 6 } The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell.  It's been months and months since I read this one but I adored it, absolutely loved it.  Amelia and Nathaniel's story was amazing, and I fell whole-heartedly for Saundra's writing style.

{ 7 } Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.  I don't know that this is my absolute favorite HP novel, but for me it was the one that truly turned the tide of the series and really introduced a more adult theme to the books.  I loved all the new characters and various events that happened in GoF.  And it was the first one to make me cry. 

{ 8 } Steal the Dragon by Patricia Briggs.  This was the FIRST Briggs book I read, so in a way, it's so very close to my heart.  I love that Patricia Briggs writes fierce heroines who aren't afraid to state their mind.  I've read a few of her urban fantasy novels, but more of her...I'm not sure what to call them.  Epic fantasy?  They're short, fun reads, kind of like fantasy-meets-chick-lit.  Not earth-shattering books but I DO love them, and I have a soft spot for Steal the Dragon. 

{ 9 } Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold! by Terry Brooks.  I read most of Brook's Shannara books before I ever read his Landover series.  It was VERY different.  Lighter, irreverent, funny!  I really loved it, and I think basically I just chose the right time to read this book and this series.  This one is really close to my heart. 

{ 10 } A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony.  I didn't make it past book 5 or 6 in his Xanth series but I LOVED the books in the series that I did read, and none more so than the first book.  I will never forget my high school English teacher telling the class about this book and about the guy who meets this girl who is "too stupid to come in out of the rain."  I wasn't too sure about this one until I read it and again, I just read it at the right time, I think.  As the series left behind the original characters, I lost interest, but I loved Anthony's funny writing style! 



{ ++ } And y'all?  What are YOUR top ten books you would save?  What books have made THAT much of an impact on you?  Spill!  : ) 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg






The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg
Expected publication: February 21st 2012 by Penguin Young Readers Group
Pages: 400
Rating: Swoon-worthy
Source: received via Debut Author ARC Tours
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website


Brie's life ends at sixteen: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart--literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy Brie loved and lost--and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul...who just might hold the key to her
forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?




My Review

This doesn't happen to me very often, but  I read The Catastrophic History of You & Me in one sitting.  Four hours later, four hours which held a LOT of laughter and tears, I closed the book and sat there thinking on what I'd just read.  I was in love with this book just from glimpsing the title, and I remember wondering on and off again what sort of story I was in for - was I going to love it, or hate it?  Could it really be as good as I was hoping it would be, and would it be one of those books that makes me FEEL something, or would it leave me cold?   The answer, I am delighted to say, is a resounding "I loved it."  Debut author Jess Rothenberg brings all her considerable talent to the table, and with Catastrophic History, gives readers an emotional, poignant, and oddly hilarious tale of life - and love - after death. 

I almost feel like there's no way to truly explain why I loved this book so much, but I'll try.  I connected emotionally with the The Catastrophic History of You & Me, on so many levels.  I think part of it was that everyone has experienced and can remember heart-break, and the struggle to grieve and move on.  Brie isn't truly given this chance, considering she dies before she can even process the reason for her literal heart break.  Brie is a wonderful narrator - the voice is perfectly spot on for a sixteen year old; never once did I feel like I was reading about someone younger or older.  Brie brought humor and love to the pages of Catastrophic History.  Watching Brie pass through the five stages of grief was frustrating, heart-wrenching, and intense, and thanks to Jess Rothenberg's ability to pull me in, I felt like I was right there with Brie, struggling to understand Jacob's betrayal, the changes in her family after her death, and her best friend's, Sadie's, secrets.  Brie's journey was powerful, fraught with set-backs, and completely understandable and genuine.  

Brie is a memorable character, but so are the secondary, supporting characters like Jacob (who believe it or not, is not as heartless as he seems), Sadie, Tess, Brie's family, including Jack, her adorable little brother, and Patrick, her guide through the after life.  Patrick really stood out to me because he was so patient with Brie, for the most part, and I adored every minute of their interaction, from his annoying/cute cheese-themed nicknames for her, their bickering and flirting, and the moments when his true character shone through, and Jess Rothenberg quietly and elegantly showed that Patrick is a good soul with a big heart.  I never would have expected to laugh so much reading a book with this subject matter, or to find a character to fall for, but both things happened, and regularly.  I didn't expect to cry, either, yet I did so, on several occasions - sometimes out of sadness, sometimes out of happiness or healing, along with Brie. 

The plot of Catastrophic History moved along nicely.  The pacing never felt jumpy or anything other than perfect.  Even the passage of time was just so well done, so seamless!  There were a few moments when I felt a few certain aspects of the plot might have been a bit stronger, but even that did not take anything away from the book.   I was not able to put this book down for longer than a few minutes at a time - it had that strong of a hold on me.  And the moment when you see the title of the book come into play and you find out all about Brie's catastrophic history with a certain character...  (That's the sound of me STILL swooning.)  Jess Rothenberg soared toward the ending like Brie and Patrick zooming off the Golden Gate Bridge, and managed to surprise me, even at the end, with a beautifully crafted and cathartic finish. 

If you are wondering if you should buy this, the answer is yes!  I will definitely be splurging on a finished copy.  I loved the ARC cover but I love the finished cover even more, and I do want to add this book to my collection.  It's the type of emotional, lingering book I will read again, when my memory of it is a bit fuzzy, so it feels like the first read, again.  It makes you think about your own life - who you are, if you're living a life you can be proud of, if you're loving with all that you have.  The Catastrophic History of You & Me is a masterfully told story of love, redemption, friendship, grief, and life.  


Disclaimer

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from DAC Tours in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.   I review books with no intention of monetary gain; rather, I review books out of my love of reading.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins





Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Pages: 372
Published:  December 2, 2012 (Dutton)
Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone
Source: Purchased from Hastings
Rating: Swoon-worthy
Further info/purchase: Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble
Find the author onlineTwitter | Website 


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 Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?




My Review


So my relationship with Anna and the French Kiss went like this: read about book.  Watch everyone swoon.  Wonder if it's really THAT good.  Finally buy book.  Start reading book - immediately fall head over heels in love with the book, the setting, the characters, and THE BOY.  But fangirling aside, in all seriousness, Anna and the French Kiss is possibly my favorite read so far of 2012, and I cannot believe I waited this long to read it. 

Stephanie Perkin's main character, Anna Oliphant is incredibly down-to-earth, relatable, and the kind of girl I immediately was able to identify with after the first several pages.  Dropped off by her mother and estranged father in Paris to attend a boarding school for her senior year, Anna is understandably overwhelmed and ill-prepared to cross the language barrier, but as she navigates the unfamiliar territory of her school and meets an astounding cast of supporting characters along the way, Anna grows from an emotionally guarded teenager into a brave, bold young women - and it is done in a way that left me amazed at Stephanie Perkin's ability to write such a sympathetic, engrossing character.  Anna and the French Kiss is so much more than the cover or the synopsis can prepare you for - it's about friendship, love, hit-and-miss flirtations, new experiences, courage, fear, mistakes, and so much more.  But mostly, it's about life and living life to the fullest.

Along for the ride with Anna are the well-developed and likable secondary characters: flashy, outspoken Meredith, artistic Josh, reserved Rashmi, and Etienne St Clair.  The group immediately takes Anna under their collective wing  and I found something to love about each of them.  Etienne's girlfriend, Ellie, was part of their circle the year before and when she moved away to college, they all lost a friend, yet they welcome Anna with (mostly) open arms.  Together with the four, Anna begins to slowly find her wings, in small ways at first - like leaving the school dorm for the first time - and eventually, trips to movie theaters father and farther away.  My favorite scenes were the ones with Anna and St Clair exploring Paris, because I felt like I was right there with them, at Notre Dame, at various restaurants, and so forth.  Stephanie Perkins drew me in effortlessly - I never felt like I was reading a book; instead, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into these character's lives.

I can't properly review Anna and the French Kiss without mentioning the relationships.  Anna's friendships were all complex and awesome, whether it was hers with her best friend from home, Bridgett, or hers with Meredith, or with Rashmi.  I felt like everyone helped teach Anna a bit more about herself than she knew at the first of the book, and all the growth on her part was just  so poignant and meaningful, and truly gorgeous.  I'm a huge fan of character growth; watching a character mature over the course of a novel sets my heart fluttering, and there was a great deal of growth on Anna's part, and St Clair's, too. 

And speaking of Etienne St Clair...what to say that hasn't already been said?  Readers have been swooning over him for some time now, and with good cause.  Etienne is supportive and loyal with a fierce streak that, although we don't see a great deal of, is incredibly appealing.  He's independent and loving, yet he also has flaws of his own.  Together, he and Anna begin a friendship that evolves into something so heart-achingly real and genuine that they brought me close to tears more than once.  The tension between them is never over-done but always just enough and so resonating.  Their interaction was my favorite part of the book - I laughed with them, shook my head at them, inwardly cringed at their missteps, aww'ed at their friendship, and ultimately, they completely won me over, becoming one of my favorite literary couples.  To me, Anna and Etienne were the heart of Anna and the French Kiss, and their story will stay with me for a long time. 

Memorable Quotes


And I realize ... it’s okay. It’s okay if St. Clair and I never become more than friends. His friendship alone has strengthened me in a way that no one else’s ever has. He swept me from my room and showed me independence. In other words, he was exactly what I needed. I won’t forget it. And I certainly don’t want to lose it.
___

I risk a glance, and St. Clair stares back. Deeply. He has not looked at me like this before. I turn away first, then feel him turn a few beats later. I know he is smiling, and my heart races.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - #21: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross


{ ++ }  This weekly event/feature is graciously hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. You know that feeling you get when you're browsing upcoming books on Goodreads or Amazon and one strikes your fancy?  Maybe you squee.  Maybe you giggle to yourself.  Maybe you bounce in your seat. We all get excited (I do a combination of all three of the previous choices...) about new books, be it a favorite author you're familiar with, or someone whose work you'll be reading for the first time.  Jill's meme gives us the chance to spotlight what we are anxiously awaiting this week.





I'm Waiting On...



True love’s kiss just may prove deadly....

Mirabelle’s past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents’ tragic deaths to her guardians’ half-truths about why she can’t return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who’s a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren’t pretty things, and they don’t always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy-tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy-tale curses of their own ... brothers who share a dark secret. And she’ll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross 
Expected publication:
Add it on Goodreads!

Why it's worth waiting on:  The first description released for this one piqued my curiosity.  The cover and official synopsis sent my heart pounding.  I can't WAIT to try this one.  It just has me excited.  Fairy tales that aren't what they seem?  Two brothers with dark secrets?  YES PLEASE. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - #10: Top Ten Books that Broke My Heart






{ ++ } Hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, this meme features a different theme every week, and hey, it's Tuesday - we've got the rest of the week ahead of us.  We all need a little fun, and who doesn't love the challenge of ranking their top 10 anything...especially when it comes to books?!  I know I do, hence why I thought it'd be fun to participate, and spice things up a little!




February 14: Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little


{ 1 } My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.  This one absolutely ripped my heart out.  I don't know what to say about it, other than if you're ever looking for an incredibly well-written, emotional read...maybe don't start with this one by Jodi, work your way up to it, because this. is. tough.  And amazing.  And difficult to read. 

{ 2 } Tempest by Julie Cross.  I know, you're thinking, "Molli, it's a TIME TRAVEL book.  About a guy.  How did it break your heart?"  Ah, but it's SO much more.  The interactions between Jackson and his family members GOT to me, especially between Jackson and a character I can't talk about (spoilers!) and the reason I can't mention that aspect of the book.  I formed an emotional attachment to and connection with this book and some parts hurt to read. 

{ 3 }The Dark Tower by Stephen King.  I adore a great many of his books.  I loved the Dark Tower series fiercely.  I visited his site so often I think my computer knew the way there on its own.  I read the first four books, then waited for the final three.  I will always swear that he was a very different man when he wrote the first four, than he was when he finished the series.  The last book was...emotional, haunting, devastating.  He made some choices I still don't agree with, but I've had to accept, because it is, after all, HIS story to tell.  One of the character deaths absolutely crushed me though, and I'm still not over it. 

{ 4 } Web of Dreams by V.C. Andrews.  I devoured all of the then-published VCA books when I was 14 and 15.  Leigh VanVoreen was not only one of my favorite characters, but also the reason I started roleplaying, and what led me to meet my best friend. Web of Dreams was the final novel in the Casteel family series and although it was not actually written by V.C. Andrews, for some reason, reading Leigh's book hurt me so much, because I was so invested in the series and in her story. 

{ 5 } Crusader by Sara Douglass.  I - I can't think about this one a lot without getting angry, hurt, and so forth.  Sara Douglass passed away last year, so I'm still kinda sad over that.  Her books got a bit "out there" as she kept writing, but they were still good. 

{ 6 } Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer.  The only thing I am going to say about this one is that I was disappointed not just in the resolution to the Edward/Bella/Jacob love triangle, but in the book overall.  I was resigned to how it would end when it came to the romance.  I just wanted more out of the story overall! 

{ 7 } Treason Keep by Jennifer Fallon.  This book made me hate a character I previously adored, for the way he treated another character, and in my humble opinion, the author made no efforts to redeem him.  (Note: she is still one of my favorite authors.  But...oy.) 

{ 8 } Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop.  I think (though it has not been said) that this is the last book in her Black Jewels trilogy.  I read only part of this one, but it was enough to have me crying my eyes out in the book section of Hastings.  I read the books with my best friend (or rather, she read them and then after she finished the first one, I started them) and they are...among my favorites.  I have SO MANY favorite moments.  Characters I love.  I love the writing, and the relationships.  In Twilight's Dawn, the author changes everything and I just...I can't. 

{ 9 } Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.  I know, it's weird to see THIS HP book on here, right?  It broke my heart in both good and bad ways.  Bad because of a few character deaths, and good because well, it was the end!  The end of and EPIC series, and I wasn't really read to say goodbye!

{ 10 }  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  Oh my heart.  I can open this book to a few places and immediately start sobbing.  (Which is why I don't do that very often.)  THG has a hold on my heart, and Suzanne Collins killed one of my favorite characters in this book.  I...adored him.  I absolutely adored him.  And I have "dream casted" him as one of my favorite actors, and...I can't explain it.  He's one of my favorite fictional characters ever, and I spent the rest of Mockingjay after he died sobbing.  I still can't really think about it.  And...my pairing didn't happen.  *sighs and frowns*  I've accepted it, but I don't agree with it.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells










Partials by Dan Wells
Expected publication: February 28th 2012 by Harper Teen
Pages: 472
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley
Series or stand-alone: Partials (1)
Rating: Squee-worthy
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website


The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.


My Review

Partials is a unique book, and one that, despite feeling that it is sometimes fuzzy on details I would like more clarification on, for the most part, author Dan Wells draws the reader immediately into his book.  Partials catapults the reader smack-dab in the middle of the action, where we learn instantly the effects RM - the mysterious virus unleashed by the Partials eleven years ago - has on infants: they never live long.  The youngest human left in the decimated population is fourteen years old, and with no surviving children to carry the next generation forward, conditions are strained.  The Hope Act mandates pregnancy at 18 years old, and Kira Walker feels hopeless, in the midst of it all.  I liked and felt for Kira immediately.  She is strong and opinionated, with a huge heart, and she is not happy with her lot in life, or with her government's attempts at an answer to all the problems.  Kira wants to do something other than watch new babies die, and I definitely sympathized with her.  Being in that situation - and worse, working in the maternity ward - is bad enough, worse is knowing there's nothing you can do - or is there?  

What I liked most about Partials were the characters.  All of them were strong, yet with their own flaws, so that they all seemed real, like people you might get to know.  Kira wasn't happy being a bystander - she wanted to reach out and fix something, anything.  Her adoptive sisters each had their own reasons for being unhappy, for wanting to do more, be more.  Marcus, Kira's friend and sometimes boyfriend, was fiercely devoted to her, yet sometimes unable to understand her actions and motivations.  Several of the secondary characters are like Kira in that they are determined to change their present, in order so that there is a future, while others, including some of her adopted family, are hesitant to rock the boat.  The plan Kira develops is risky and thrilling - I was at once supportive and afraid, as Dan Wells propels the reader right along on Kira's journey.  Though several months pass in Partials, the pacing is steady, and never really falters or detracts from the story being told. 

Plot wise, Partials is a very strong story, which throws several twists into the narrative so that when I read the last page, I was definitely wishing it was time for Failsafe (the sequel) to be published.  There is a huge shocker that, thankfully, I didn't see coming, because it really added to my enjoyment of Partials.  I do have a gripe though - while the world-building is well done, I wanted to know more about what led to the present state of things.  There is a war mentioned - the Isolation War - and then the war with the Partials, and although we are told in brief what happened, I'm a back-story kind of girl, so I still wanted more, and in that sense, I didn't enjoy Partials as much as I thought I would.  A few of the plot elements kept making me think of a television show I adored a few years back - I'm not going to say which one - and that was both off-putting and awesome.  The question at the end of Partials remains:  just because you are told someone is the enemy, are they really so different?  And as it so far-fetched to think that something could be learned from someone's nemesis?
 
Partials is a fast-paced book that will no doubt leave readers breathless.  The characters are well-developed and the chances they take to save their race and their world are daring and admirable.  I would have liked more explanation, but I look forward to that in the sequel, as I am sure that author Dan Wells will produce yet another can't-miss dystopian! 

Disclaimer

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.   I review books with no intention of monetary gain; rather, I review books out of my love of reading.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In My Mailbox - #16



{ ++ } Kristi at The Story Siren hosts this weekly meme which gives bloggers a chance to highlight the books we bought, checked out, won, or otherwise procured over the last week.  And whether I've came into money (brb, laughing forever) or only had the goods to splurge on a book or two, they all deserve some love.


{ ++ } This is my IMM for the last month!   I waited so that I actually had a couple books to show y'all!  : )  Be sure to leave me links to YOUR IMM!  Also in mine at the end is a special message to all my followers, old and new! 







Received for Review

Grave Mercy by R.L. Lafevers
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Croak by Gina Damico
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Starters by Lissa Price
Partials by Dan Wells
The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuery
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
 Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
All These Lives by Sarah Wylie 

* Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, HarperCollins/Harper Teen, Flux, Amulet Books, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, and Farrar Straux and Giroux *


Purchased

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (special edition)
{ | } What did y'all get in YOUR mailboxes?  Don't forget to share your links.  : )

Friday, February 10, 2012

If I Could Write a Letter To Me - #1: So You've Started a Book Blog











{ ++ } Inspired partially by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, partially by the Brad Paisley song (Letter to Me) and mostly by my desire to share some of the knowledge that I've learned in the months since I started blogging, I am introducing a new feature here at Once Upon a Prologue called If I Could Write a Letter to Me.  Each month I'll tackle a different subject in the form of a letter to my younger blogging self - sort of a "things I wish I'd known when I started," and a collection of tips and tricks I've picked up along the way.  I may or may not keep the letter format, just depends on if it's easy or difficult to write.  It should be fun, I think, and maybe I'll pass along some info.


If I Could Write a Letter to Me- #1:  So You've Started a Book Blog


Dear Blogging Self, Day 1:



So earlier today, you had this great idea, totally inspired by Suz over at A Soul Unsung.  She started her book blog a couple weeks ago, and you started thinking, “huh, maybe I should start one too,” then today, you did.  You’ve clicked the sign-up button, thinking “it can’t be that much different than LiveJournal,” and now you’re staring at the pre-made templates wishing you could design something kick-ass for your blog.  It’s only been a few hours and already you’re fantasizing about giving it a cool book-ish name, jazzing it up, and ooh, what’s this cool thing called GFC?    It’s pretty much immediately apparent that the book blogging world is a huge place, VERY different than LiveJournal (your usual platform where you’re comfortable,) and that it’s going to be a great big adventure…if you can ever figure out how to get started. 

Here are a few pointers, some do’s and don’ts.  (If you’d known these, your transition from fumbling geek to honest-to-goodness book blogger might have been easier, but it wouldn’t have been half as much fun.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Discussion Post - #1: Trends in Literature I'd Like to See Less Of







Discussion Post #1: Trends in Literature That I'd (and we'd) Like to See LESS Of.  

{ | } Everyone is welcome to participate!  Maybe you agree with me.  Maybe you disagree (and if you do, that's okay)!  Maybe you can think of something I've forgotten!  Let's start a conversation and go back and forth.  I want to hear what YOU have to say.  I want to get to know y'all and hear YOUR side.  I'm going to highlight a few things that I, personally, would like to see less of in literature (mostly speaking of YA literature as that's the bulk of what I'm reading) and why, then I want to hear y'all's thoughts and opinions!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - #9 : Top Ten Books You'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read







{ ++ } Hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, this meme features a different theme every week, and hey, it's Tuesday - we've got the rest of the week ahead of us.  We all need a little fun, and who doesn't love the challenge of ranking their top 10 anything...especially when it comes to books?!  I know I do, hence why I thought it'd be fun to participate, and spice things up a little!






February 7:  Top Ten Books You'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read



{ 1 } Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.  I resisted this series for awhile (why?  I'm not really sure) but when I finally DID read it, I could absolutely see why so many people have read and gushed about it.  It was an amazing experience, waiting for the last couple of books to come out, reading the last book, savoring it.  Even someone who doesn't normally read should make an exception for this book and the series!

{ 2 } Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.  The Sookie Stackhouse series is a ) so much better than the show and b ) adorable and c ) sexy and rather addictive.  I ADORE the books and they have a bit of everything. 

{ 3 } Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi.  I shelved this as "women's fiction" on Goodreads and I reckon it would appeal more to women than men, but it DOES feature two narrators - one female, one male.  It's flirty, mysterious, sexy, inspiring, and a whole lot more.

{ 4 }The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I know I mention THG too often but...four people at my work are currently reading it.  At least two of them don't read very often.  I LOVE that this trilogy is getting so many people to read! 

{ 5 } Take This Regret by Amy Lichtenhan.  This is the perfect mix of emotions, and is guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes and tug at your heart-strings.  You will feel SO MUCH reading this book. 

{ 6 } Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.  This book (and the series) has SO much to offer.  It's fun.  It's heart-pounding.  It's fun and thrilling and mysterious.  I liked the sequels more than this first book but it's definitely addictive.


{ 7 } The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong.  Kelley has a writing style that is easy to read and easy to get lost in.  She writes characters that are relatable - they're more like people you've known than fictional characters. 

{ 8 } Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.  I was hesitant to read this one (another werewolf book?) but then I did and I didn't regret it.  Cremer's world-building is SO superb that you're RIGHT THERE at  once, in the story, and it's all happening around you.  Plus?  There's not one but TWO hot guys. 

{ 9 } Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop.  I don't know what to say about this book.  It's...everything.  Heart-breaking.  Sensual.  Dark.  Addictive.  There's magic.  Court intrigue.  This book is one of my all-time favorites.  I loaned it to my friend Jennifer - who does NOT read - and it took her six months to read it, a few pages at a time, because she fell so hard for the book and the characters. 

{ 10 } Twentie's Girl by Sophie Kinsella.  Most people would say to start with her Shopaholic series (which is VERY cute) but I actually prefer her stand-alone novels.  They are light and funny, and quirky, but usually feature a great romance and lovable characters.  This is my favorite of her stand-alone novels!



{ ++ } Your turn!  What book or books would you give to someone who doesn't normally read to get them hooked?  (And who are these people who don't read?  Gosh!)

Follower Love Give@way Hop




{ | } Hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader Not a Writer and Rachel Renee Anderson, I wanted to show a little (or a LOT) of love to my awesome followers.  I'm participating in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop as a way to say "THANK YOU" to y'all - the ones who comment on my posts, offer me support, re-tweet me, put up with my craziness, and are just generally amazing.  I've said it before, but my blog wouldn't be half as successful as is it without y'all.

{ | } So how does winning the book of your choice sound?  That's what's up for grabs in this giveaway, plus since this is a hop, I'm including the linky list to all the other fabulous blogs participating.  There are LOTS of cool prizes up for grabs.

{ | } Again...truly...seriously... THANK YOU.  I love y'all.  Enter, hop, and have fun!  The Hop is open until 02/15/12!



Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella






 I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Pages: 448
Expected publication: February 14, 2012 (The Dial Press)
Source: E-ARC from NetGalley
Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone
Rating: Squee-worthy
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Website | Facebook Page

___

I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.




My Review


It's been awhile since I read a Sophie Kinsella novel, but hers are always light, fun reads, and that's what I was craving when I've Got Your Number showed up on NetGalley.  I knew my next few reads would likely be heavy, so I dove into Kinsella's newest novel with hopes for a quick read, which is what I got - but also a bit more than I expected.  I've always liked Sophie Kinsella's stand-alone novels far more than her Shopaholic series, which started to wear thin for me after about four books.  To me, her stand-alone novels are the perfect mix of her unique brand of humor, memorable characters, and addictive plots, without drawing out the story too much.  In I've Got Your Number, we meet Poppy Wyatt, whose phone is stolen shortly after she loses her irreplaceable engagement ring.  Poppy spots an abandoned phone in a nearby trash can, and I've Got Your Number takes off from there on a hilarious and at times emotional roller coaster ride. 


Poppy was my favorite character, which was a nice treat, considering when I can't connect with the lead character, I usually don't like the book.  But I sympathized with Poppy right away - a spirited, fun-loving girl who spends all of her time doing things for others and worrying about what others think.  At first, Poppy came off as a bit shallow, but as I've Got Your Number progressed, Sophie Kinsella took us deeper into what made Poppy who she was, and as a character, Poppy really started to make sense, and take on a genuine feel.  She wasn't just someone I was reading about - she was someone I understood, and someone I liked.  I really enjoyed seeing her grow as a person over the course of this book!

The secondary characters were all very entertaining, from Poppy's co-workers, to her fiance's parents and brother, to Sam, the businessman whose assistant's phone Poppy commandeers.  Sophie Kinsella has a way of writing characters who really leap off the pages - even the minor characters, for the  most part, are always somewhat memorable.  And Sam especially was a wonderful addition to I've Got Your Number.  I adored him from the start, although I spent most of the book going, "no, no, Sam, you idiot!" (in a loving way.)  His interactions with Poppy were golden - there were actually several moments between them that made me laugh out loud, and one or two where I grinned uncontrollably.  I loved watching Poppy juggle her life, and her encounters with Sam, via email, text message, or in person.  The added mix of her acting as his PA/assistant was just too cute, especially when she decided to try to "help" him out by making him appear more persona able to his staff. 



Several aspects of I've Got Your Number were too neatly wrapped up for me, and there were a few too-convenient solutions.  Normally, those sorts of flaws would have gotten this book a different rating, but like I said, I expected a fun read, and that's what I got, though still with more depth than I expected!  And what really put this over the top and made it a great read for me was how funny it was, and the unforeseen emotional moments.  I could overlook the fact that the ending was rather tied with a pretty bow because a) in a way, it was still a good ending and b) it was just TOO cute NOT to love. 


Disclaimer


In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.   I review books with no intention of monetary gain; rather, I review books out of my love of reading.  







Friday, February 3, 2012

2012 Follower Survey Results







{ ++ } My reader/follower survey is officially over and I wanted to, in brief, share the results with y'all, and the changes that will be made here at Once Upon a Prologue.  Nothing drastic, but I'm changing a few priorities and such!

Memes:  Most everyone wanted to see less memes.  So from now on, In My Mailbox will be done once a month (unless I just get inundated with books and need to do once twice a month), Waiting on Wednesday will be done no more than twice a month instead of every week, and Top Ten Tuesday will be done once a week - my ONLY weekly meme.  Teaser Tuesday and Why I Love Wednesdays will not be done - the latter was not a popular meme and the former, while enjoyable, started feeling like a chore.

Cover reveals: Readers wanted less cover reveals.  So I won't be hosting any of those for the foreseeable future.   I might consider doing, once a month, a spotlight read on the new release I am most excited for or something like that if there is interest. 


Reviews: Readers wanted more reviews!  YAY, since I LOVE posting reviews.  For now, I am going to aim to post 2 reviews a week, 3 if I can ever get THAT caught up.  : )


Giveaways:  People were a bit split - some prefer a specific book for giveaway (like ARCs, etc), while others prefer a "book of your choice" type giveaway.  So I will be offering more of the latter, along with a few ARC giveaways. 


Original features: Most everyone is in favor of my features - Guest Who, Once Upon a Blogger, etc.  I will run those as long as there is interest!


Follower interaction: this is perhaps the most important.  By far everyone suggested discussion posts as the best way to increase follower interaction, so shortly I'm going to start a semi-regular discussion post - probably once every other week or so.  Feel free to comment on this post or shoot me an email with a topic YOU would like to discuss.  I may use my "letter to me" upcoming feature, or I may run that one AND discussion posts.  I'll be trying out some new things.  :)


{ ++ } Finally, I just want to say that I received some amazingly beautiful comments on my blog - and me - which I did not at all expect.  So thank you VERY much for all the love and support.  I truly adore my blog and the blogging community, which means all of y'all.  I always always want my blog to be a fun place for y'all to come hang out and want to visit again and again.  I try to visit as many blogs as I can, but if I haven't come by yours in awhile, leave me a link on one of the memes we both do, and I'll hop right over!  I am always striving to improve and I think 2012 is going to be a GREAT year here at Once Upon a Prologue!