Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

The following is a review from a guest reviewer:

Title: Can you keep a secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Reviewer: Kristen
Genre: Pure chick-lit
Rating: Love – would be “worship” if not for the following:
Alerts/Warnings: Lots of language and sexual references and one graphic sex scene
Premise: "Emma Corrigan's young, sweet, and has a long list of secrets--the kind of innocent secrets everyone has--one of which is that she is afraid of flying. Coming back from a thoroughly ruinous sales trip to Glasgow, she is seized by mortal terror when the plane she is on encounters some air turbulence, and ends up spilling her guts to the handsome American sitting next to her. He gets to hear that she sleeps beneath a Barbie bedspread, that she fibbed to get her current job, and that she has never been able to satisfactorily find her G-spot. Then, the plane lands... and rather than disappearing into anonymity, the American turns up in her life again. He's the CEO of her company, and remembers her quite well." (King County Library System)
Opinions: This is my favorite fluff book of all time. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud as much as I did while reading this book. Emma is a very charming main character and I loved Jack’s dry sense of humor. I’m just not a fan of the language and sex (that is why I prefer to read young adult books).

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry & Ridley Pearson

The following is from a guest reviewer:

Title: Peter and the Starcatchers
Authors: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Reviewer: Kristen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island. The young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold but the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerse the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan." (King County Library System)
Opinions: The authors have created an entire backstory for Peter and the other inhabitants of Never Land. I always wondered how Peter could fly and where Tinker Bell came from. I also found Black Stache and Mister Grin quite hysterical at times. Very imaginative, funny, and interesting read. Two more fabulous books followed in the series.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The following is a review from a guest reviewer:

Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Reviewer: Kristen
Genre: Children’s Classic
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Ten-year-old Mary Lennox is indeed a miserable child. Upon the death of her parents she finds herself transported to the cold climate of England to live at Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire moors with an ailing cousin she has never met. How she hates this country and everything about it. But with the English sunshine, spring comes into Mary's bitter heart. She finds that she likes Misselthwaite Manor, its inhabitants, its gardens and especially its secrets." (King County Library System)
Opinions: Oh, how I love this book! I watched the movie all the time when I was younger, but didn’t read the book until I was in my twenties. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was absolutely enthralled by the story and couldn’t put the book down. Dickon was always my favorite character and I found I loved him even more in the book. Definitely a classic.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The following is a book review from a guest reviewer:

Title: Eat, Pray, Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Reviewer: Kristen
Genre: Adult non-fiction
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: Language and sex
Premise: "A celebrated writer pens an irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life. Driven to despair by a punishing divorce and an anguished love affair, Gilbert flees New York for sojourns in the three Is. She goes to Italy to learn the language and revel in the cuisine, India to meditate in an ashram, and Indonesia to reconnect with a healer in Bali. This itinerary may sound self-indulgent or fey, but there is never a whiny or pious or dull moment because Gilbert is irreverent, hilarious, zestful, courageous, intelligent, and in masterful command of her sparkling prose. A captivating storyteller with a gift for enlivening metaphors, Gilbert is Anne Lamott's hip, yoga-practicing, footloose younger sister, and readers will laugh and cry as she recounts her nervy and outlandish experiences and profiles the extraordinary people she meets. As Gilbert switches from gelato to kundalini Shakti to herbal cures Balinese-style, she ponders the many paths to divinity, the true nature of happiness, and the boon of good-hearted, sexy love." (King County Library System)
Opinions: I read this book a couple months before I moved to Portugal and it helped me get excited to move to a new country and be immersed in a new culture. The author is a bit “woo-woo” and narcissistic at times, and we definitely have differing religious beliefs, but I still enjoyed reading about her journey.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The following is a review from one of our FabulousReads followers. Please check it out.

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Reviewer: Emily Marie
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: Some references to teenage sex, nothing explicit
Premise: "Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks." (King County Library)
Opinions: This book was amazing. Frankie Landau-Banks enters her sophomore year at an exclusive private school having blossomed over the summer. She lands the hot senior boyfriend, but soon grows increasingly annoyed over everyone underestimating her because she’s so pretty. Frankie is an impressive female heroine – strong willed and determined while still managing to seem like your mostly-average teenage girl. I absolutely loved her, and some of the pranks in this book are completely laugh-out-loud hilarious. Read this book, you’ll love it too!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Winner Announced!!!!!!

We would like to thank everyone who has entered into the Princess of Glass giveaway. All the entries have been gathered and tabulated. An unbiased third party has chosen the winner at random and the winner is.....


Congratulations Kevin and Melissa. Please email your address to and I will send you the autographed book asap.

If you did not win, do not give up hope. I know of at least four other giveaways coming down the road in the next few weeks/months. Please stay tuned for further news of those giveaways.

We hope you have a fantastic Easter weekend and a beautiful spring!!! KEEP READING!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

For my review of the first Flavia de Luce mystery please check here: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

Title: The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (A Flavia de Luce Mystery)
Author: Alan Bradley
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Mystery
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: Violence associated with Murder, Mild language
Premise: "From bestselling author Alan Bradley comes this mystery starring one of fiction's most remarkable sleuths: Flavia de Luce, a dangerously brilliant eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders. This time, Flavia finds herself untangling two deaths - separated by time but linked by the unlikeliest of threads." "Flavia thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop's Lacy are over - and then Rupert Porson has an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. The beloved puppeteer has had his own strings sizzled, but who'd do such a thing and why? For Flavia, the questions are intriguing enough to make her put aside her chemistry experiments and schemes of vengeance against her insufferable big sisters. Astride Gladys, her trusty bicycle, Flavia sets out from the de Luces' crumbling family mansion in search of Bishop's Lacey's deadliest secrets."

"Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she's letting on? What of the vicar's odd ministrations to the catatonic woman in the dovecote? Then there's a German pilot obsessed with the Bronte sisters, a reproachful spinster aunt, and even a box of poisoned chocolates. Most troubling of all is Porson's assistant, the charming but erratic Nialla. All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can't solve - without Flavia's help. But in getting so close to who's secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head?" (BOOK JACKET)
Opinions: This is the second Flavia de Luce murder mystery that I've read in under a month. Don't let the 11 year old main character fool you, these mysteries are written for adults. Flavia's fascination with chemistry still flows throughout the story and helps her with observations that amaze even the local authorities. And yet, being eleven, Flavia can get away with doing a lot of things that most adults would be thrown in jail for. The one issue I really have with these stories is Flavia's relationship with her sisters. Granted, I know there are families which don't get along with each other, and even though my brother and I had our occasional battles, they were nothing like the out-and-out mean things Flavia's sisters say/do to her. Though, I must say, that the ways she retaliates aren't exactly innocent either.

I still think that Alan Bradley writes in a way that reminds me of Ms. Marple books by Agatha Christie. So if you are a lover of murder mysteries, and don't mind a heavy dose of chemistry thrown in, then I do recommend that you check these books out. I think you will enjoy them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Giveaway Reminder

Just a reminder that we are doing a giveaway for an autographed copy of Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George. Very few people have signed up to date, so your changes of winning are high. For rules and regulations please click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Title: The Grimm Legacy
Author: Polly Shulman
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Fiction/Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "New York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the "New-York Circulating Material Repository," and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods." (PG Library System)
Opinions: This book was fantastic. It was almost a hybrid of the Grimm Sisters series by Michael Buckley and the made for television series The Librarian played by Noah Wyle of ER fame (Bob Newhart costared) which was kinda of corny, but I still loved to watch everyone one. I loved the whole idea of the repository that Elizabeth goes to work for. Not only does it house items such as Lincoln's hat, Marie Antoinette's wig, but things like the tea set from Alice and Wonderland, and worn-out dancing shoes of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. If such a library really existed I'd be there almost every single day. To work there would simply be glorious. Not only could you learn so much about real history, but learn about history behind the stories as well. DREAM JOB!!! Okay, back to the story. I connected very well with Elizabeth and understood her need to find a way to make friends. I loved her struggle as she learned how to deal with peer pressure and deciding what was the right path to take. I love the lessons this book teaches and the imagination that it invokes. The only thing that got on my nerves was the hormonal nous of the teenagers, but do you know any teenagers that aren't moody from time to time. Overall, the writing is easy to read and the plot intriguing enough that I read the entire thing in under five hours. So for me this qualifies as a must read.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat by Debbie Farmer

Title: Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat!
Author: Debbie Farmer
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Every parent has had one of those days— like when you invented the neatest idea for your son's sharing time only to realize the next morning that it was the silliest thing you'd ever done... or when you returned the library book to the video store and the video to the library. Parents have days like these all the time, and when viewed in just the right light, with a smile on your face, they become some of the funniest days of your life! Syndicated writer Debbie Farmer has a good bead on the lives parents lead. With two energetic children of her own, she has plenty of stories to tell, and she always serves up the very best medicine—laughter!" (Amazon Product Description)
Opinions: I have been slowly reading this book over the last three months. I bought it on sale several years ago while walking down the parenting section of my local bookstore. This book is full of short life-lessons that Ms. Farmer has learned over the years while dealing with children, life and family. I could not stop laughing. Ms. Farmer's sense of humor is fantastic and I could relate to several of her stories (including what it is really like while real women shop for swimsuits, toddlers using our cooking utensils for activities like playing in the sandbox, and much more). This book is perfect when you only have a few minutes and would like to read something hilarious and uplifting and that helps you feel better about your own life. This book is brilliant. For all the adults out there I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Giveaway Starts Today!!!

I apologize for the delay in posting these rules. Yesterday did not go as I had planned. So after no further ado here is what you need to know in order to win an autographed copy of Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George.

This contest will run until Saturday, April 23rd at midnight.

Ways to Enter:

1. In honor of Stephanie's return from China, leave a comment on this or any other post until the 23rd answering the following question - If you could visit any country in the world what would it be and why? (1 entry)
2. Follow our blog (3 entries)
3. Post a link to our blog on your blog. Please leave a link to your blog (5 entries)
4. Blog about our blog or giveaway on your blog. Again please leave a link (10 entries)
5. Write a review for us. (5 entries per review) There is no limit to the number of reviews you write for us. Please use our format. (Below) Email us your reviews at Also if you would like us to link to your blog, please give us your blog address.


If you are under the age or 18 you must have a parent or legal guardian give consent if you win.
We have also in the past have had people have problems with our comment section. If you have a problem, you can email us your entry at

Good Luck one and all!!