All posts by Cheryl

Musing Mondays #11

Musing Mondays is NOW hosted by The Purple Booker! Go check out this awesome blog 🙂

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: If you could have dinner with one author alive or dead who would it be?


Up next I think I’ll read…SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Okay, I wouldn’t say I’ve been in a reading slump, but I have definitely just been kind of blah about reading. And I finally figured out why. I always automatically gravitate toward romance books or books that have some type of romance in them. And at the moment, I want to give a big middle finger to romance, so why am I still reading these books?! I think I need to read something action-packed or sci-fi or dystopian. I just need something different!


My answer to this week’s random question: Despite what I just said (lol), I think I would like to meet Sophie Kinsella, the queen of chick lit. I love her books so much, and she always has me cracking up. I think she would be such a cool and down-to-earth person to meet.

Review: A Tangled Web by M.L. Sparrow

Title: A Tangled Web

Author: M.L. Sparrow

Published: February 1st, 2017

Length: 94 pages (eBook)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Author (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Japan, 2011

Taiyo is a normal high-school girl living with her Grandmother in Sendai. She goes to school, partakes in club activities and hangs out with her two best friends, twin brothers Ryuu and Kairi. However, her perfect world is shattered when she begins dating Kairi but quickly discovers she’s already in love with Ryuu.

A tangled web of lies surrounds the pair, but everything is suddenly knocked into perspective on March 11th when they are caught up in a natural disaster that devastates the country and robs thousands of their homes, their possessions and their lives…

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I have read three of M.L. Sparrow’s books. I have always been offered her books in exchange for an honest review, and I’ve been such a big fan of hers. I’m always intrigued by her books, but this one sounded so interesting. It is fiction, but it takes place during the very real Japan tsunami of 2011. I knew I had to read it. I received this book awhile ago, but after my long break from reading and blogging, I’m still trying to do some catching up. And I remembered this book, so I jumped right in!

WHAT I LIKED

Taiyo and Ryuu’s relationship. I loved their friendship. They’ve known each other since they were kids. It’s so obvious that Ryuu is in love with Taiyo, but Taiyo is so oblivious to not only his feelings for her but also her own feelings for him. Sometimes, this can get annoying in books, but this time, I thought it was super cute. I just wanted to keep reading to see how everything developed and how Taiyo came to the realization that her best friend just may be in love with her and she may even feel the same. Loved it!

Hard to put down! Each chapter ended in a way that made it impossible to put down. It wasn’t obvious cliffhangers. It was more like it was just so well-written that I just had to know what happened next.

How the tsunami and a love story combined to make this story. It reminded me of Titanic. The movie was about the tragedy that happened to the ship and the people on it, but the heart of the story is the romance between Jack and Rose. Same with this book. It’s about a horrible tragedy where hundreds of people died, but the heart of the story is the romance between Taiyo and Ryuu. I love how the tsunami was embedded into this love story.

Gave me all the feels! I cried twice. I won’t say anything else, but it definitely got to me.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The length. It is a novella, and I tend to find novellas too short. There was no difference here. I just felt like the pace was too quick, making the story seem a bit rushed. This would have been such a perfect story if it was a full-length novel.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed it! My only complaint shouldn’t even really be a complaint. It was intended to be a novella, so I really can’t complain that it was too short, but unfortunately, that’s how it felt. BUT, ignoring that, the book was really good. In such a short amount of time, I was emotionally invested. I got attached to these characters. I had to know what happened to them. And given that this book was barely 100 pages, I’d say that takes some real talent from the author. M.L. Sparrow continues to amaze me. I will literally read anything written by her.

4 out of 5 Hearts!


(from Goodreads)

M L Sparrow is currently the author of four full length novels, two novellas and a slew of short stories published in various anthologies. Her novella, A Tangled Web, was a finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

She will write pretty much anything that pops into her head, no matter the genre, and enjoys keeping her readers guessing as to what she will write next, though you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some degree of romance!

As well as writing, she enjoys travelling and has been to some amazing countries, where she never fails to gather inspiration and has an endless supply of ideas for future novels…

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 Reading Challenges Met

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Bookish Bingo

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge

That’s What HE Said Thursday #9 – The Best Kind of Magic

Hosted by: Chapter Break

That’s What HE Said Thursday is about posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies (whom we so wish we were!!!!!!)


This week’s quote comes from The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari. Such a fun and awesome book about magic and love. Giving away a copy of the book. Click on the title to read my review and enter before the giveaway ends in about 24 hours!


“Amber, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but I want you to know: every time I’m around you, I feel like a non-fatal firework is lit inside me. It’s magic—actual magic—and you’ll have to forgive the pun, but I don’t want to be under anyone else’s spell.” 

– Charlie to Amber


Love, love, love this book. And this quote gave me all the feels.

Check it out, guys!

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #13 – The Best Kind of Magic

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts is a weekly meme hosted by (un)Conventional Bookviews. The idea is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read.

Haven’t participated in this meme in over a year! How is that possible?! Glad it’s still going. This was one of my favorites!


This week’s quote comes from The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari (click on the title for my review). In this book full of magic, Amber can see true love and can see everyone’s soulmate. Love this concept! She also loves to bake and aspires to be a pastry chef, which means there are some yummy food quotes.

In this quote, Amber goes to her favorite bakery, and this is what the owner has for her:


My Hungry Hearts Quote

“She walks over to the cooler and pulls out a heaping cup of dirt and worms. While it may not sound like the most fancy or desirable of desserts, Ella’s version is beyond compare: homemade devil’s food pudding, mounds of hand-whipped heavy cream, a box full of crushed chocolate cookies, and soft, tangy gummy worms. I don’t care if it’s kid stuff; it’s amazeballs.”


This sounds so sweet, delicious, and fattening. I love it!

By the way, I’m giving away a copy of this book! Only about 24 hours left to enter! Check out my review by clicking on the title of the book.

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s The Best Kind of Magic blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Read my review for this awesome book and check out the giveaway! 🙂

Title: The Best Kind of Magic (Windy City Magic #1)

Author: Crystal Cestari

Published: May 16th, 2017

Length: 328 pages (eBook)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works at her mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.
 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The last few books I have read have just been “okay, whatever, let’s move onto the next one.” But I had a feeling about this one. When I saw the cover, I just knew. I was like, “Ooohhh, pretty. I must have it.” This is not news. I often judge books by their cover. And in this case, I’m glad I did!

WHAT I LIKED

The writing. O.M.G. Okay, I don’t even know how to put this into words, but here is my attempt. Sometimes you just know from the first page of a book whether an author has IT or not, IT meaning a natural born talent to write. I knew instantly that this author does. I remember reading the first page and being blown away. It had nothing to do with the plot. It was just the writing. So creative yet professional yet simplistic. I was beyond impressed. And I stayed impressed for the entire book. It wasn’t one of those start strong and finish weak kind of books, which I have noticed a lot of. It started strong and finished strong, maybe even stronger. I absolutely loved it. Crystal Cestari just might be my new favorite author.

The concept. It’s no secret that I’m a hopeless romantic. The tattoo on my wrist is of the Chinese symbols for “true love.” So, as I was reading the story, I kept thinking, “This book was made for me.” Amber can see everyone’s true love. How badass is that?! And of course, you can only imagine the complications that could arise with this type of gift as well. But I LOVED IT. It is such a unique ability to have. I was so intrigued, and I couldn’t wait to see how everything turned out.

The characters. Amber made the book for me. She had this sarcastic, snarky side to her that I loved. I got the feeling that she didn’t give a crap about what people thought of her, which is admirable. I just kept thinking, “I wish this girl was real. We’d be best friends.” And her soft side came out too, especially when she began falling for Charlie. Speaking of Charlie, he was swoon worthy! I couldn’t get enough of him. He was a trooper. He was thrown into this supernatural world and just kind of learned to accept it without freaking out or judging. And he’s a hot guy…with glasses. How often do we see this in books? Not very often. I love it! Then there’s Amani, Amber’s best friend. I really liked her. I could see her story developing further. That would be awesome.

Amber and Charlie’s relationship. This was perfect, in my opinion. It started with Charlie needing Amber’s help. It was nothing more than that. Acquaintances, if anything. Then, they gradually became friends. And from there, feelings started to grow. Such perfect pacing. Again, the author’s talent truly showed here.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Nothing! There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like. This book was so good!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

What a perfect blend of love and magic, of contemporary and paranormal. And what brilliant writing. I can’t say enough about the writing. It was incredible. I fell in love with the author and these characters, and I really hope there’s more to Amber’s story. This could potentially be an amazing series. I already am looking into buying a physical copy of this book. I must have it on my bookshelf so I can stare at its beautiful cover, especially now that I know that the story is equally beautiful! More please!

5 out of 5 Hearts!


It was hard to narrow it down, but here are some of my favorite quotes:

“I know love is real—I KNOW IT—but that doesn’t keep it from being an evasive little bastard that works in mind-boggling ways.” (Ain’t that the truth!)

“…all I can think is, damn, the heart is a hell of a machine. Even when it’s broken, it still finds a way to carry on.” (More truth!)

“You never know what you’re getting into when you fall in love, but that doesn’t mean you avoid the jump.” (I absolutely love this one.)

“Appreciate the journey, because when you get to the end, you’ll only be able to look back, and hope you don’t regret what you see.” (Yes, more wisdom. Love it.)

“Just because you’re having some sort of emotional breakdown doesn’t mean you can’t have cute toes. Rainbow or gold?” (This is why I love Amani. What are best friends for?)

“Amber, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but I want you to know: every time I’m around you, I feel like a non-fatal firework is lit inside me. It’s magic—actual magic—and you’ll have to forgive the pun, but I don’t want to be under anyone else’s spell.” (Oh, Charlie. I love you. Marry me.)


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With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.

My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.

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Each blog in the tour gets to give away ONE FINISHED COPY OF THE BOOK (US/CANADA ONLY). So be sure to enter!

Also, a person may only win ONE book throughout the entire tour.  It’s okay to enter more than one giveaway, but if you win in another giveaway, you need to be honest and decline it.  All the winners will be collected on one form.

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 Reading Challenges Met

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Full House Reading Challenge

Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge

Review: Deceptive Cadence by Katie Hamstead

Title: Deceptive Cadence

Author: Katie Hamstead

Published: June 2015

Length: 323 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: YA Bound Book Tours

My Rating: ❤❤❤

(from Goodreads)

Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after . . .

Until she doesn’t. A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake’s wrath. Disoriented, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn’t need to give it a second thought. She accepts.

Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she’s armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determination to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She’s focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.

But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he’s very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose: deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.

Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’m so bad. I got a review copy of this book over a year ago. Somehow, it got lost in my stack of review eBooks, and I just completely forgot to read it. Once again, I was looking for a book to cover my Monthly Keyword Challenge for February (it being May now, I obviously failed that), and I came across this book. I instantly felt bad that I didn’t read it when I should have, but then I got excited because I remember it sounding amazing! I get easily burned out with the same predictable plot lines, so this one definitely intrigued me.

WHAT I LIKED

The concept. Omg. I love it. Your husband and daughter die in a freak accident, and you get to go back in time to relive the past 11 years to try and prevent it from happening?! Yes! So many possibilities! So many possible outcomes! I just couldn’t stop reading. And I loved the fact that she was able to see what happened in the first timeline and then how things changed in the second timeline because of the different decisions she made. It’s the ultimate what if? game turned into real life. Awesome!

The beginning. I was literally crying within the first 10 pages. I didn’t think that was possible. This author somehow gave me all the feels IN 10 PAGES! Now that is pure talent. And I don’t mean one little tear. I was in tears for a good 10 minutes. I had to put the book down. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, and seeing a mom lose her baby girl was just heartbreaking. I couldn’t believe what this book did to me in such a short amount of time. Crazy.

Cadence and James’ relationship. It was real. It grew gradually, from puppy love to the real thing. I love how Cadence gave him a chance even though she knew she would most likely end up with someone else. I love how James changed so much and just wanted to be a better person for her. I felt like I was watching two kids grow up together, learning how to live and love. It was refreshing, to be honest. I’m so tired of the insta-love thing. This was exactly what I needed.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The fact that it’s so hard for her to make the ultimate decision. Okay, here’s the thing. (And I’m not giving anything away here. It’s all in the book blurb.) She is happily married with a beautiful daughter. She goes back in time and falls in love with someone else. That’s all fine and dandy. No, really. It is. I love it. BUT, when it comes to making the decision about whether to be with the new guy or your future husband who gives you your daughter, I don’t think the decision should be that hard. Maybe it’s just me, but here is how I look at it. If you choose the new guy, YOUR DAUGHTER DOES NOT EXIST! How can you live with yourself if you choose a life where your child does not exist?! Personally, I have a daughter, and I’m going through an ugly divorce now. If I could go back, even if I met the perfect guy, I wouldn’t change a thing. My daughter is my everything. Even if her dad is a complete ass, I still would’ve chosen to meet him and marry him, just to have her. Just my opinion, I guess…

The pace. At times, mostly in the middle of the book and the last quarter of it, I just felt like nothing was happening. The pace got super slow sometimes, and I got just a bit irritated. Perhaps it was just a little longer than it had to be.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I liked it. I really did. There were so many positives about this book. It was very unique. I haven’t read anything like it. But I think the length of the book and the “difficult” decision just threw me off. So I have mixed feelings, which makes me have to go right smack dab in the middle for my rating.

3 out of 5 Hearts!


(This was part of why I cried so hard in the beginning…)
“How can I go on without you? You’re the calm to my crazy. I didn’t even know what love was until you. Please, please, don’t be dead.”

(I love how protective Cadence’s dad is!)
“It better be over, or I’m going to go down to that school to castrate him and anyone else who looks at you!”


(from Goodreads)

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters, and their dogs.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.

When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an office lady at an elementary school to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

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Reading Challenges Met:

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge

Musing Mondays #10

Musing Mondays is NOW hosted by The Purple Booker! Go check out this awesome blog 🙂

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: When someone in your life passes do you pick up a book they liked or one that reminds you of them to read?


I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)… I’m so upset that my personal life is interfering with my reading and blogging life. I’ve been working so much. And when I’m not working, I’m spending time with my daughter, who is obviously my number one priority. BUT I do miss my blog, and I miss reading as much as I used to. Before, I would read for hours when my daughter was sleeping. Nowadays, I’m working online or just sleeping because I’m so tired from working. I guess that’s life. But I am going to try my hardest to set aside some time for my books and my blog. I MISS IT ALL SO MUCH!


My answer to this week’s random question: Fortunately, no one close to me has died in quite awhile. My pets have, if that counts. But, if someone does pass away, I think I would try to avoid anything that reminded me of them because I would get way too emotional. And the reason I think I would do that is because after Paul Walker died, I still can’t watch any of his movies. It’s so hard. And that was someone I didn’t even know personally. I’m a very emotional person. When I get sad, it takes over my whole entire life, and I am useless to the world. So, to answer the question, I probably would not pick up their favorite book or one that reminded me of them.

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Dating the It Guy blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by YA Bound Book Tours! So sorry this is late! If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I have had some technical difficulties ever since I was forced to change my domain name. Apparently, scheduling blog posts falls under the technical difficulties category as well. And I’ve been away from home for the weekend working my butt off, so I haven’t had a chance to fix it. Finally, here I am. So check out my review! And we all love giveaways, right? 🙂

Title: Dating the It Guy

Author: Krysten Lindsay Hager

Published: March 21st, 2017

Length: 243 pages (eBook)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: YA Bound Book Tours (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’ve been wanting to join a blog tour since I came back to the blogging world, and when I saw this cover, I just knew I had to read this book. I absolutely love it. It’s gorgeous and instantly drew me in. And of course, I was curious about the plot of the book as well. Dating the IT guy? Intriguing.

WHAT I LIKED

Emme. I LOVE this girl. She is completely relatable. I found myself marking pages and making notes with just a simple “Yes!” because I just knew exactly how she felt or could relate to her thoughts or her little quirks. A lot of the time, the female main character just annoys me throughout the book, but Emme didn’t. She stayed realistic, and I genuinely cared about her and wanted to see what happened to this new friend of mine 🙂

It was funny! Omg. I was laughing so hard. Some parts just had me dying. And the best part was that it was done so seamlessly. It wasn’t like the author was trying too hard to be humorous and it was super obvious. It just came naturally. Krysten Lindsay Hager, I love your sense of humor!

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Margaux. Okay, I tried to give this girl a chance. I really did. She’s one of Emme’s friends, so I wanted to like her. BUT she irritated me SO MUCH. She just seemed super selfish and self-absorbed and couldn’t be positive or happy for her friends. And maybe this is realistic because we all know people like this, but I just couldn’t stand her, and I was practically yelling at Emme to not take this crazy girl’s advice on boys.

The second half of the book. “Didn’t like” is too strong for this part. I guess I’ll say that I wasn’t as impressed with the last half of the book as I was with the first half. I was really into the first half. I read it super fast, and I couldn’t put it down. Then I reached a point where it kind of seemed to drag on a bit, and it lost its humor a little, and it kind of became just another book for me.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

If I was judging just the first half of the book, I would’ve given it 4 hearts, but the last half affected my opinion of the book unfortunately. However, I did like it, and I will definitely check out the author’s other books. Ultimately, if an author can make me care about a character and also have me laughing hysterically at the same time, then I’m a fan!

3 out of 5 Hearts!


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Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is also the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series (True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and the soon to be released, Landry in Like) and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


 Reading Challenges Met

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge

Review: Falling for Her Fiancé by Cindi Madsen

Title: Falling for Her Fiancé

Author: Cindi Madsen

Published: January 14th, 2013

Length: 179 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: Free Nook book via Barnes and Noble

My Rating: ❤❤

(from Goodreads)

Danielle and Wes have been best friends since college, so when Wes needs a date for his sister’s wedding and Dani needs a partner for her company’s retreat, they devise the perfect plan: a fake engagement to get through both events unscathed. Adrenaline-junkie Wes can prove to both his ex and his family that he’s well and truly moved on, and serious-minded Dani can prove to her boss that she’s worthy of the promotion he seems to only want to give to a family-oriented employee.

But amid the fake swoons, fake kisses, and forced proximity, neither expects the very real feelings that develop. There’s nothing more dangerous than falling for your best friend…but what if the landing is worth the fall?

INITIAL THOUGHTS

So, I saw that this book was free on my Nook, so I downloaded it probably over a year ago. Then, I was trying to complete the Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge for January, so as I was looking through all my eBooks that I haven’t read, I noticed this one had one of January’s keywords in the title. And I’m a sucker for the whole friends-turn-into-more-than-friends thing. So I was excited to read this one.

WHAT I LIKED

Relatable characters. There were many times throughout the book that I felt like I completely understood what Dani was going through and thinking. I don’t want to give anything away, but her thoughts on relationships and moving on were spot on. I really liked that.

The relationship. I liked the little things about Dani and Wes’ relationship. For example, they bet $5.00 on just about everything. They’re always like, “Five bucks  I can do this” or “Five bucks I’ll win.” I thought that was super cute.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The lack of buildup. We know Dani and Wes are best friends, but I wanted their feelings for each other to gradually grow. They already wanted each other within the first 20 pages. What?! That kind of killed it for me. I wanted to see them as friends first. I wanted to see their relationship without the desire for each other. The instant-attraction thing needs to be saved for relationships where people first meet, not best friends who have known each other forever.

The POV. I have mixed feelings when books are written in the third person omniscient POV. If it is done right, it’s fine, but usually, I get frustrated. We are in Dani’s brain in one paragraph and then in Wes’ brain literally in the next paragraph. I don’t like that! Can we just stick to one person per section or chapter please?? I guess it’s just a personal preference. It gets confusing though!

Lack of connection. I just didn’t feel it. They’re best friends, they fake an engagement, they start to fall for each other…but I didn’t feel a connection. I was just like “okay, whatever, I don’t really care.” I have to care about these characters, and I didn’t. I will probably forget everything about this book within a couple months.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I really wanted to like this one, but it was just okay for me. Nothing special. Forgettable, unfortunately. Ultimately, I just didn’t care enough about the characters. Therefore, I just couldn’t give it more than 2 hearts.

2 out of 5 Hearts!


(I could totally relate to this one, so I had to share it.)

“…as someone who was dumped by the guy I thought was the one, I do understand, you know. You hate the person and still want to get back together somehow, even though it makes no logical sense. It sucks and it hurts and you want to return the hurt right back.”


(from Goodreads)

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

If you’re interested in ARCs, interviews, and/or blog tour information please contact the publicity department at publicity@entangledpublishing.com

 

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Reading Challenges Met:

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge

Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge

Story Sprites

 

 

Book Vs. Movie #2: Me Before You

This is a new feature I started here on I Heart Fictional People. I always compare the book to the movie adaptation, so now that I have a blog, why not share my thoughts with my fellow bookworms? I will have 3 or more rounds, comparing different aspects of the book/movie, and then I will declare a winner. I doubt that the movie will ever be better than the book, but you never know! Hey, the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies were awesome! Plus, it’ll be fun to look at the similarities and differences.

This time, we are doing Me Before You. I finished the book a couple nights ago (you can read my review here), so I immediately went to Redbox yesterday and rented the movie. I watched it last night and loved it! Let’s see how the two compare 🙂

READER BEWARE: If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, you may not want to read this. I won’t include major spoilers unless noted first. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!


     Vs.   


Round 1: Louisa Clark

I really liked Louisa in the book. She seemed so eccentric yet relaxed and calm. She just enjoyed her not-so-active life, which I respected. Then I watched the movie, and the girl I came to like so much came to life, and I LOVED HER. The first thing I noticed in the movie was her wardrobe. Omg. Everything she wore was fabulous. I couldn’t accurately picture her clothing while reading the book. I knew  she had a quirky, unique, and creative sense of style, but seeing her come to life with all of her lovely clothes was awesome! And she was so upbeat and lively and happy. I got a taste of that in the book, but nothing like how the movie made me feel.

Verdict: The movie! I gotta say, I really liked the book version of Lou, but the movie version of Lou was just a little better. I absolutely loved her. I loved everything about her. Great casting decision!


Round 2: Plot

***WARNING: SPOILER ALERT***

There weren’t that many changes in the plot. The main difference I noticed was that Will didn’t have a sister in the movie, which, in my opinion, was fine. She didn’t serve much of a purpose in the book. The other difference I noticed was that Will’s dad either wasn’t having an affair, or they just didn’t show it. I didn’t think this was a big deal. It didn’t change anything really. You could still see marital issues between his parents, but they weren’t fully explained, which was fine. Also, Lou didn’t move in with Patrick in the movie, which was fine as well because she ends up moving out anyway. So, all in all, I was completely satisfied with the plot in the movie.

Verdict: It’s a tie here! Joao Moyes wrote the screenplay, so I’m not surprised how well done it was. She knew exactly what to take out and what to leave in to make the movie complement the book perfectly. Kudos to her! I wish authors always wrote the screenplays! The movies would be so much better!


Round 3: The Ending

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!***

Okay, I have to be honest here. Things just seemed a bit rushed. It was like all of a sudden, we were in Switzerland, and Will was about to die. I liked that the book took some time and let us regroup after finding out that Will had not changed his mind and he was really going to end his life. It still hit me emotionally the same, but I kind of felt like, “Wait a minute. I need more time. It’s already this part?!”

Verdict: Book. The book wins this round, but that’s not a surprise. Movies don’t have the luxury of taking the appropriate time needed like books do.


AND THE WINNER IS…

IT’S A TIE!!!

 

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it is an absolute tie. I can honestly say that I loved the movie just as much as I loved the book. And I think it has a lot to do with the author writing the screenplay. That really made a difference.

What did you guys think of the movie? I’d love to hear your opinions!