Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola

Author: Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Genre: Fiction, Christian, Romance
Release: October, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5

Description:Ride the rollercoaster of Shiloh Jacobs’s life as her dreams derail, sending her on a downward spiral from the heights of an AP job in Tokyo to penniless in rural Virginia. Trapped in a world so foreign to her sensibilities and surrounded by a quirky group of friends, will she break through her hardened prejudices before she loses those who want to help her? Can she find the key to what changed her estranged mother’s life so powerfully before her death that she became a different woman—and can it help Shiloh too?

Review: Shiloh Jacobs lives in Japan where she has the perfect life, perfect job, and perfect fiance. Sure she overspends to keep up an image, causing her to have stacks of credit card bills, but other than that, life is good. Until her mother back in the States dies and leaves her house to Shiloh. Shiloh was not close to her mother. At all. Yet, she goes to Staunton, Virginia to the funeral and to sell the house. While there, Shiloh loses both her job and fiance. Life couldn't get any worse. Only it does. Her hopes for a quick sale are dashed. God has funny ways of getting your attention and this is His way of getting Shiloh's. So now, Shiloh's stuck in Staunton, surrounded by her mom's friends, people Shiloh thinks are rednecks. What Shiloh doesn't realize is, these "rednecks" are teach her about true friendship, happiness, and most importantly, God's love.

  • The beginning was a little slow. It picked up more after she receives the call about her mother's death.
  • It was slightly stereotypical of the South, but not enough not to like the book.

  • The cover and title immediately grabbed my attention! I mean, come on. "Southern Fried Sushi"...what a cool title. The cover is colorful and the mix of cultures is evident (Japanese dress & fan with cowboy boots).
  • I loved Shiloh's character. Throughout the book, you see her growth and will be rooting for her by the end.
  • The secondary characters are pretty awesome, too. They're well-rounded, three dimensional characters, just like Shiloh. Her mom's friends all have their little quirks that makes them endearing.
  • The message of God and His love is written in the story without being too preachy. It's subtle, but...obvious. I know that's an oxymoron, but that's how I can describe it. It's not the "beat you with the Bible" type of message, but a "Let me tell you what God has done for me" type of message.
  • I love that Shiloh did not automatically accept Christ. Had she immediately accepted Him, it wouldn't have been real. She struggled. Thought about it. Then struggled some more. It makes the book more authentic.
  • There's a little romance in it, but that's not the focus. The focus is more on Shiloh and her growth as a person. But Ms. Spinola does add a splash of romance.

If you're into light-hearted books with a tiny splash of romance, Southern Fried Sushi is perfect. I am now reading the second book, Like Sweet Potato Pie (again with the cool titles), and I'm loving it so far. I'll definitely be on the lookout for book #3, Til Grits Do Us Part.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: In Seconds by Brenda Novak

Author: Brenda Novak
Genre: Fiction, Romantic Suspense
Release: August, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

Description: In the whole state of Montana, there's nowhere to hide. . .

Laurel Hodges has changed her identity twice. She's been on the run for the past four years, trying to outdistance the men who blame her for the death of one of their own. She's finally found the peace and stability she needs, for herself and her two children, in the small town of Pineview, Montana. But just when she thinks they're safe — the nightmare starts all over again. The Crew, a ruthless prison gang with ties to Laurel's brother, will never forget and they'll never forgive. And now that they've finally found her again, they'll stop at nothing. It could all end in seconds. Only Sheriff Myles King stands between Laurel and the men who want her dead.

Review: In Seconds is Ms. Novak's second book in her Bulletproof series (Inside, being #1). Where Inside focuses on Virgil, In Seconds focuses on his sister, Laurel, who now goes by Vivian. She's running from the gang called The Crew, set on revenge. She's left witness protection with her two kids and now live in a small town, Pineview, Montana. Her next door neighbor happens to be the town's sexy sheriff, Myles King. Laurel develops feelings for Myles, but she fights them, believing she can't trust anyone in law enforcement. Myles develops feelings for Laurel, but is still hurting from his wife's death three years ago. Will these two lovebirds be able to get past their hurts and mistrust? And if they do, will The Crew get to Laurel before they can get something started? You'll have to read to find out!

  • The fact that I couldn't put the book down. This is only cos it meant I stayed up til all hours of the night trying to finish the book.

  • The fact that I couldn't put the book down. You know the book's good when you absolutely must keep reading to find out what happens next.
  • Ms. Novak paints pictures with her words. I can see in my head the scenes in the book.
  • I didn't have to read Inside to understand this book. Though I probably would've understood more had I read Inside, In Seconds can be a standalone book.
  • I liked the relationship between Myles and Laurel. They both feel something for each other, but they don't rush and jump right into bed with each other. They took their time. They both had children and they put their children first. 
  • The characters were realistic...not perfect; not terribly flawed that I couldn't stand them. They were just right.
If you love romantic suspense, you'll definitely love Brenda Novak's In Seconds. I definitely have to read book #3, In Close.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: My Face Book by Star Bright Books

Author: Star Bright Books
Genre: Children, Board Book
Release: August, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5

Description: Babies love looking at other babies and these charming baby faces, smiling, frowning, and laughing are sure to captivate and delight toddlers and babies. They will ask to look at and to read the book again and again. Self-expression has never been more adorable!

Review: This is a cute board book for parents of toddlers. It features faces of other toddlers with different facial expressions. And I must say, the babies are so precious! I love the fact that it features babies of different races...not just one. My Face Book is a short and sweet read!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Mayhem by Artist Arthur

Author: Artist Arthur
Genre: Paranormal, YA, Fiction
Release: July, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

Description: A lot can change in a few months. Jake Palmer is living proof of that. In a short time, the once-shy loner has discovered his incredible supernatural abilities and forged a tight bond with his fellow Mystyx. What’s more—he’s fallen for his best friend, Krystal. And fallen hard.

Still, some things remain the same—like the jocks who keep bullying him. Even though they have no idea how powerful Jake has become. And while he tries to follow Krystal’s advice, he may not be able to keep his cool much longer. But there are bigger problems ahead, because the darkness that’s been hovering nearby is about to descend on the town of Lincoln, Connecticut. And when it does, the Mystyx will learn who to trust, who to fear and just how much is at stake...

Review: Mayhem, the third book in the Mystyx series, focuses on Jake Kramer. Jake is known at school as a "tracker" - a person from the wrong side of the tracks - and he's bullied because of it. In Mayhem, Jake struggles not only with being bullied and loving Krystal (from Manifest) from afar, but he also has to struggle with a darkness raging inside of him that's trying to woo him to the other side. Does he fight this darkness or succomb to it? You'd have to read the book to find out!

What I Didn't Like
  • Honestly, I can't think of what I didn't like about this book. It was slow at times, but not often. The action made up for it.
What I Liked
  • I liked Jake's character. I liked that he struggled with succombing to the darkness. He didn't automatically ignore it; there were times he really wanted to give in. This made him well rounded and believable. I mean, the darkness was offering things that would make life easier for Jake. It wouldn't have been believable had Jake completely ignored the darkness and didn't struggle. I found myself rooting for Jake throughout the book.

  • Jake and Krystal's relationship. I liked seeing their relationship grow from book 1 to now. I'm not going to say much because I don't want to give it away.

  • There was more excitement in this book than the others. It could be because the series is reaching the end, but Mayhem had a little more action in it than Manifest and Mystify.

  • A few more questions were answered here, especially questions about how the Darkness started and why the 4 were chosen, etc.

I can't wait to read the 4th (and final?) book in the series, Mesmerize.


Welcome to my book blog!

I already have two other blogs (Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Publication and The International Diva)and I post my reviews on LLPP, but it's gotten to be a bit much.

I figured why not just have a separate blog for my book reviews?

I read. Alot. And even more since I joined Netgalley.

So, here it is. My book blog.

For the next week, I'll post my 2012 reviews, and then starting in September, I'll post new reviews.

My past reviews will stay on my other blog.

Three blogs...smh.

Am I crazy or what?