ARC Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

books-reviews-button-01

to all the boys i've lovedTitle: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Publisher (ARC)

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them — all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved— five in all.

When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

my thoughts-01

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a review copy of this book! 

So I’m kind of in love with Jenny Han. When I’m in the mood for a light romance read I have a handful of authors I look to and Jenny is one of them! I loved the premise of this book when I first read it — I can’t even imagine what would happen if I wrote letters to my exes and they were mailed out! Can you say “move out of the city”?

This book was a lot of fun. Lara Jean was a great character and it was so much fun to see her try and cover her tracks with some of the letters. I was a little disappointed that not all the letters are really dealt with in a lot of depth — some were just kind of brushed off within a chapter — but all in all it was a great idea. And really, my favourite thing about reading Jenny’s books is that they suck me in right away and are simplistic in their themes and writing, but still completely engaging.

Also, while I’d almost want to label this as a romance book, there are so many other things going on in the story that I’m hesitant to do so. One big thing is family and the bond between siblings. Lara Jean has two sisters and everything that happened between the three of them just seemed so real — and I’m saying that without having any sisters! It’s relatable and also so funny! It’s just a perfect blend of reality, hilarity, and swoony romance.

I will admit that well after I finished reading this I learned it would be a series and I was NOT thrilled about that since I had been hoping for a straight YA contemporary romance book, but who knows. Maybe I’ll check out the next book when it comes out — it IS Jenny Han after all and she’s just so much fun to read!

rating-4-01

Author Links
WEB | TWITTER | GOODREADS

signature-01

Review: Loving on Borrowed Time (Lovers’ Leap, #1) by Olivia Cunning

books-reviews-button-01

love on borrowed timeTitle: Loving on Borrowed Time
Series:
Lovers’ Leap, #1
Author: Olivia Cunning
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Source: Purchased (eBook)

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Lara Kensington is living a perfectly mundane life as a museum curator, when bad boy treasure hunter, Reece Jericho, leaps into her life. Literally. Obviously distressed, Reece tells Lara that one year in the future she will be murdered. The evidence he uses to back up his incredible story doesn’t convince Lara. She thinks he’s crazy. Especially after he claims to be her future fiancé. Lara would have remembered dating someone as delicious as Reece Jericho. Hot as Reece is, Lara has a difficult time believing anything the man says until the broken amulet he wears around his neck transports them into different bodies, during a different time, in a different place–an ancient place, a cold place, a place where Lara arrives naked, hysterical, and… Norse.

On the run through time, attempting to escape a man who is hell-bent on Lara’s lack-of a-future becoming a reality, the couple must leap from one time and place to another just to stay alive. In the first volume of this sexy and humorous new series, Lara and Reece share an existence with a ruthless Viking and his captive bride and then with a noble medieval knight and the feisty lady he is determined to win.

my thoughts-01

There are certain kinds of books that I can’t get enough of — time travel romances! Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there are not enough of these on the market today. When I finish one, I want more!

When I found out that author Olivia Cunning had a series of time travel romances available, I was super excited. I love her Sinners on Tour series and was looking forward to meeting a new cast of characters.

This book was pretty great. It’s a shorter read, so it was perfect to read in an evening! It started a bit abruptly, with us meeting Lara, a museum curator, who is encountering a man who suddenly appeared in the long-closed-for-the-night museum. This is Reece and he and Lara are a bit of an item in the future — AND — he’s here to save Lara’s life. From there, we get to go on a time leaping journey (think Quantum Leap) throughout time to escape the person who wants Lara dead.

Lara and Reece were great characters. I kind of fell in love with Reece and have come to the conclusion that Olivia Cunning writes awesome men. He was sexy and kind, really cared for Lara, and wasn’t afraid to be himself around her — and to help ease Lara into the idea of them being together. And Lara — she was a strong character who was open to the crazy situations they had been thrown into. I loved how they were both determined to help the love lives of whatever couple they leaped into.

The only thing that knocked this book down from being completely awesome for me was that there’s not a lot of resolution in the end. We briefly meet the man who wants Lara dead, but I would’ve liked to have known more about him by the end — maybe have an actual ending to the story, rather than a cliffhanger into the next.

Of course, that being said, I still loved this story and can’t wait to read the next one. I’m also really hoping that Olivia Cunning will write more in this series because, like I said, time travel romances are so much fun!

rating-5-01

Author Links:

WEB | TWITTER | GOODREADS

signature-01

[Kind of an Audiobook] Review: An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer

books-reviews-button-01

an evening with neil gaiman and amanda palmerTitle: An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer
Genre: Short Stories / Music
Source: Library (CD)

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

New York Times Best-Selling author Neil Gaiman and International recording artist Amanda Palmer release a 3-disc set, titled An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer on November 19th. In 2011, Neil and Amanda, recently married, decided to tour the West Coast, and perform together for six nights, to meet each other’s fans and answer questions from the audience. Requests for the shows to be recorded resulted in their first crowdfunding experiment. They went to Kickstarter to raise the money, made 666% more than they asked for, and so were able, in Spring 2012, to release a 3 CD set, bonus CDs and digital material to their 3873 backers.

Previously unreleased to the general public, and culled from hours of live recordings, one CD features Gaiman and Palmer collaborations, such as Makin Whoopee and I Google You. One CD is all Amanda Palmer, and marks the first time original live Amanda Palmer tracks Dear Old House, Gaga, Palmer, Madonna: A Polemic, Judy Blume and Do You Swear to Tell the Truth the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth So Help Your Black Ass have been made available to general public on CD. Gaiman’s solo CD includes several uncollected poems and stories, and his non-fiction account of a visit to the Oscars in The View From the Cheap Seats.

3CD set. Quaint 2011 live collaboration from The Dresden Dolls frontwoman with her husband, the acclaimed UK author. Contains on-stage readings, comedy and music.

my thoughts-01

I was really hesitant about whether to review this on the blog or not since it’s really not a book, BUT it’s Neil Gaiman, who is an author — an author I love — and it’s completely awesome, so there you go.

I had heard about this tour that Neil and Amanda did and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Needless to say, the instant I started listening to it, I was in love with the whole thing. Neil is just charming as ever and him and Amanda have great chemistry on stage. The collection starts out with Neil on the first disc, who reads a collection of short stories and poems, my favourite being The Statue, as well as his hilarious story about going to the Oscars for Coraline. I could listen to Neil talk all day long, so this CD was obviously too short!

The second disc was a mix of him and Amanda singing songs together and doing more readings. I had thought that the extent of Amanda’s contribution to the CDs would be strictly music, but I was wrong. Amanda reads poetry out loud (during one of them, Neil plays the iPad), both of which were quite beautiful. And the duets between Amanda and Neil? Priceless. I had known Neil to sing before since I’m a huge Ben Folds fan and him, Amanda, and Neil (as well as Damian Kulash) recorded a disc of songs called 8in8 a while back that was awesome. Neil sang his song from that collection, The Problem With Saints, as well a a very cute version of Making Whoopie, a duet with Amanda.

The last disc is pretty much all Amanda. I had never been a fan of the Dresden Dolls (though I had never really had the chance to listen to them) but I do listen to Amanda’s newer stuff. I knew she was talented, but listening to her live really gives me a new appreciation. She’s well spoken during the readings, amazing on the piano, and her voice has the ability to go rough and raw, but then smooth and light on the next turn. Her song choice was pretty great, too. Loved the Judy Blume song and This Old House, a song to the house she grew up in, was absolutely beautiful.

Whether you’re a fan of Neil or a fan of Amanda, this CD set has something for everyone. It’d be perfect for a long commute or road trip and is definitely one I’ll want to listen to again and again. If you have a reader in the family and a music lover, this is the perfect blend for both, full of touching stories, humour, and a lot of fun.

rating-5plus-01

signature-01