Monday, April 29, 2013

How To Kill A Rock Star - Tiffanie DeBartolo

I just spent a good half hour trying to find my favorite quote, favorite passage, favorite anything from this book.  I'm pretty sure it is impossible.

We all have that something...a song, a poem, a book (raises hand) that just takes everything you've always wanted to say and presents it in this way that makes you just want to nod your head and say "yes" - I affectionately refer to it as "book church".  I learned a long time ago that I don't have what it takes to write a book - but if I could, if I had that way with words that I so greatly admire, I would want it to be like this one. 

“I am of the theory that all of our transcendental connections, anything we're drawn to, be it a person, a song, a painting on a wall--they're magnetic. The art is the alloy, so to speak. And our souls are equipped with whatever properties are required to attract that alloy. I'm no scientist so I don't really know what the hell these properties are, but my point is we're drawn to stuff we've already got a connection to. Part of the thing is already inside of us.”

I mean, COME ON.  The way the words flow and the story unfolds...I'm not even making any sense.  

I've read this book more than once, and even though I know what happens, I still find myself feeling all the visceral feels.  I swoon, and roll my eyes, and mutter under my breath, and cry and swoon and want to throw things and swoon and shake people until they come to their senses.

“Eliza has the sky in her eyes and I’ve always wanted to touch the goddamn sky.” 

And swoon more. 

The story is told from three perspectives -- Eliza, Paul and Loring.  You'd think the changing POVs would be an issue, but it really isn't.  Each character gives their unique spin on the story and they weave together until you just want to wrap yourself in it and let it keep you warm.  I have more passages highlighted than any other book I've ever read and going back and rereading them to write this nonsensical ramble makes me want to read  it again for the kazillionth time.  And to be honest, I'll probably find more things to highlight.

“See that?” Paul said. “Ten goddamn seconds.”

“I don't get it.”

“You didn't even have to hear the whole song, just a few lines, and you still got chills and that swirly, happy-sad feeling in your gut, didn't you?”


“So?” he huffed. “That's the difference between the real stuff and the crap. I know which one you are and you know which one I am.”

And you can probably guess which one I think this book is.  So yeah, I think you should read it.   

You can learn more about this amazing book here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

Run, don't walk and read this book.  And bring tissues.

If I could wrap up one of the 153 books I read last year and give it to everybody I know, this one would be it.   Amazing.

You can learn more about it here.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Original Sinners - Tiffany Reisz

While I'm in the middle of reading a book for my book club and waiting for Jack to finish reading a book so he can help me with a blog post, I decided to revisit some favorites:


I don't know what to say about these books. I don't think anything I can put down will be the right thing or enough...without getting too personal. Every time I finish one, I'm flung head first into emotional overload but in the best way possible.

I never ever thought reading a book, much less a series tagged with the term erotica or BDSM could make me feel these things. Yes, those elements are there and necessary - these books wouldn't be what they are without them. But those things are not ALL that this series is about - there is so much more.

It is no small secret that I despise the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy.  ABHOR it.  Loathe it.  To this day, I don't know how or why it got published, but that's not my call and another discussion for another day.  While the BDSM way is not for me, I have encountered others that have experienced the lifestyle and after reading this books, I can say that I GET it. I can see it.  With her words, Ms. Reitz allows the reader to appreciate the beauty in something that society (thanks to books like FSoG) likes to stigmatize and trivialize. 

Reading each book, I connected with every single character. Nora - where has she been all my life? And Zach and Wesley, sweet sweet Wesley. And even Soren.  And Kingsley and Michael and
Griffin, especially when he wears a kilt.    **Shrugs**  Can't help it.

I never write long reviews -- I'm an emotional reader and it is hard for me to "critique" because I feel awkward putting my thoughts out there when usually they are based on nothing but my emotions -- but my feels for this series...they deserve words, inadequate as they may be.

I feel every word of this story.  Not exaggerating.

The intensity can be overwhelming, but it is also delicious. I found myself wincing at parts and reading though my fingers, but with every page turn I wanted to immerse myself in the depth and the feelings. Soak in it like a warm bath with candles and lots of wine until I get sleepy. I can't speak French worth a damn, but every italicized word or phrase was like a whispered kiss (-- well, except for 5 words that will haunt me until The Mistress comes out this summer). When you read it, you'll know what I mean. Half my updates on Goodreads were in a language I shouldn't understand, but when I was reading, I felt fluent. Because these books are more than just words.

The Siren was sassy
The Angel was enlightening
The Prince...was emotion.

I will say that these books won't be for everyone, but if you feel like stepping outside your comfort zone, they are worth the chance.  What Tiffany Reisz does with her characters is nothing short of magic. I can't think of another series of books that has grabbed me so consistently and yet each book does so in a completely different way. 

The Mistress has an expected publication date of July 30, 2013 and I'm hoping my good luck continues and I get to read it in advance.  **Prays to the Netgalley gods and unabashedly begs**

You can learn more about the author and the series here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau

4.5 Stars.   

Expected publication:  June 2013

It is no small secret that I am a bit of a dystopian junkie, so when I had the chance to read a galley of The Testing from Netgalley, I jumped all over it.  The first book in a new trilogy, a strong female main character, did I mention it was dystopian?  GIMME.

I was not disappointed.

Cia Vale has spent her entire life dreaming about being selected to attend University after graduation.  The world is rebuilding after the Seven Stages War and the University is where the brightest and best go to become leaders.  Growing up in the Five Lakes, Cia is more than aware of the fact that there hadn't been a candidate chosen from her sector in many many years, and when the graduation ceremony finishes just as it has in previous years, it looks as though nothing had changed.

Until it does.  

Cia and three other new Five Lakes graduates are selected and they are given 24 hours to pack and say goodbye to their families.

I know, I know...this sounds sooooo much like The Hunger Games.  In fact, for the first little bit, that was all I could think of.  Cia = Katniss.  I kept waiting for her to bust out the bow and arrow...and while there IS a crossbow involved, it doesn't belong to Cia.  

As I continued to read, I found myself focusing more on the story itself rather than the similarities.  I was completely drawn in and The Testing began to stand solidly on its own.  It is no surprise that Cia is a smart smart girl, yet she is not perfect.  The Testing is difficult physically, mentally, emotionally - and what I particularly liked about this story is that the author doesn't make Cia immune to the challenge.  She struggles.  She doubts.  She questions everything - both what she encounters with each new day and what she thought she already knew.  Her character is believable. 

Especially knowing that she has a weakness for dimples and a crooked smile.  Hello, Tomas!

Being the first book in a trilogy, The Testing ends in a bit of a cliffie - yet it wasn't so dramatic that I wanted to throw things and scream about the wait.  It was in the right place...there was enough closure to make me feel like the book was over yet enough left out there that I am anxiously awaiting the next installment.  

Well done, Ms. Charbonneau.  You passed the test.  (I know, I know...I couldn't resist!)   

You can learn more about The Testing here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let's Do This!

So, this crazy idea I had about a week ago actually looks like it is going to happen!  I'm a little nervous, to be honest -- but excited at the same time.  I've had the best time this week trying to figure out how I want this blog to look (still tweaking, btw) and setting up a twitter account -- @fluttersnflails -- and reading and reading and reading some more trying to find a book to discuss first.

I'm pretty sure I've found it - but more on that later.

My intentions are pretty basic.  I read a lot and love to talk about the books I read and encourage everybody I know to read them.  I love my book club and my friends on Goodreads, but there are times when I'm left so speechless that sometimes I have to let my thoughts percolate and come together on their own schedule -- usually sometime in the middle of the night when calling a friend on the phone to tell them about THE BEST BOOK EVER is frowned upon.  So this blog will be used to talk about both new releases and old favorites because, well, because that's what I want to do  :)   

For what it is worth, I try to avoid using the word review because I feel like that requires some sort of analysis or break down on my part when that's not why I read.  I read for the emotions, the feelings, the tummy flutters and the crazy muppet arm flailing when something exciting happens.  For the gut punches.  For the angry fist shakes.  For the warm fuzzies.  

Not exactly critical analysis, but I did enough of that in my college days and really don't enjoy it.  Now I read on my  own terms and let my heart take over.  Yup.  Way better!   

So go make some coffee or open some wine and get ready - this is going to be a lot of fun!

Monday, April 15, 2013