2011A Right Brain Wannabe: 2011

Jul 15, 2011

Blog Tour: Book Review - Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker

Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker
Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, the novel’s heroine reluctantly joins her best guy pal in a journey of online dating.  The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online

“The book is loosely based on my real-life online dating experiences,” said Becker, who met her husband on a popular online dating site in June 2000. They now live in Manhattan Beach and have two daughters – ages 6 and 4.  “While some of my experiences did inspire the novel, they are exaggerated here for comedic affect.  But I think there’s a story here that many people can identify with,” she added. 
From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

Renee was such a fresh and easy character to follow and relate with.  She seemed to have a great job and great friends, but her dating life seemed to be lacking.  I admired her courage to get online and open herself up to something she had never done, regardless of what her friends thought.  I found some of the situations she got herself into were your typical worst dates, and poor Renee couldn't get any slack.  I loved how she had your typical triangle of friends that all had their own personalities and opinions,but in the end they all loved Renee and only wanted the best for her. 

As far as the story was concerned I thought it was a very light read and a great book for the summer.  At times I felt like there could have a little more substance to the entire store itself with a little less bouncing back and forth between situations, however I am not sure how else you would do a book that is entirely in email format.  I felt each character brought their own piece to the story and without them it wouldn't have been the same, however I felt like there was something missing that I could quite put my finger on.

This was a wonderful story that any young woman in the dating world would enjoy, and over all it was a great book I was able to add to my summer reading list!!

Thank you to the author for letting me participate in the blog tour, and I am looking forward to her next book!

Jun 13, 2011

Blog Tour: Book Review - Little Miss Teacher by Cassandra O'Sullivan Sachar

Little Miss Teacher by Cassandra O'Sullivan Sachar:
Told through the eyes of Candace Turner, a high school English teacher straight out of college, Little Miss Teacher details one woman’s struggles through the important initial stages of her career and her life as a grown-up. While teaching her students about writing and literature, Candace learns her own lessons about life. As she worries about fitting in with the faculty and conquering piles of essays to grade, Candace also pursues an old crush only to have her heart broken. Through her endless attempts to succeed in both her job and life, she has many adventures within and outside of her classroom walls. Ultimately, Candace hopes to finish the school year with a feeling of triumph at having touched the lives of her students… and having survived.

In the vein of both Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’s The Nanny Diaries and Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada, Little Miss Teacher is a story about a young woman dealing with the ups and downs of work and life. In experiences that are sometimes amusing and sometimes sad, Candace endures everything from chaperoning the prom to helping a friend deal with a problem. In her earnest, self-conscious, conversational manner, Candace gives a voice and an all-access pass to the often embarrassing life of a young educator.

Candace is your typical "fresh out of college, new to the career world" type of character. Having only been out of college for 5 years myself, and my sister being a teacher and only out of college for 2 years, I felt that I would be able to relate to the character easily.  From a character stand point I felt like I was able to relate with some of the new experiences she was facing and the insecurities about where you fit in as a newly "grown up person". I am also a recruiter for my job, and I deal with these same insecurities and questions on a daily basis when I am recruiting new college graduates.

As for the story itself, I felt like I was always hoping and waiting for an intense climax in the book. There were two times in the book where it was getting good and I felt like I didn't want to put it down, but within one page it was done. The situation was over and we were moving on. I really had hoped for a little more substance when it came to the plot and the characters. I felt like I was just looking in on a typical young person's life, which I live on a daily basis, so having just a little bit more to grasp on to would have been nice.

Over all, the book was an easy read. I have definitely recommended it to several people. Thank you to the author for letting me participate in the blog tour, and I am looking forward to her next book!

Jun 7, 2011

Blog Tour: Book Review - Family Pieces by Misa Rush

Family Pieces by Misa Rush
What do you do when your once charmed life falls to pieces? Karsen Woods' life seems charmed from her hunkalicious boyfriend to her picture-perfect midwestern roots. Away at college, even the necklace she wears serves as a constant connection home - a family tradition created when her grandfather handmade each immediate relative an interlinking charm. Each piece crafted in the shape of a puzzle piece, each one interlinking perfectly together. But when the unexpected death of her mother turns her world upside down, she discovers there is a missing piece of her treasured family tradition and her life as she once knew it may never be the same. Addison Reynolds resides in her posh Manhattan condominium and wraps her personal identity around running Urbane, the magazine empire built by her father. In a moment of haste, Addison divulges her deepest secret to her closest friend Emily - a secret she never intended to disclose. Could one choice, one secret, bond two unlikely women forever?

Karsen Woods is your typical college student with her class schedule, her workouts and her boyfriend.  She has nothing but great places to go in the world.  When her world is rocked by a phone call from her father, it seems this poor girl could not get a break.  I really enjoyed the book when it came to the characters and how Misa was able to really make each one their own.  The only thing that seemed to bother me a little about this book was HOW MUCH was going on at once.  I almost felt like some of the story's were never finished, and were put in there only to fill space.  At about 2/3 the way through the book I really felt like the story lines got better and I was able to really get involved in the book and the characters.  Over all I think it was a great book and definitely an easy read.  I would recommend this to someone to add to their summer reading list.  I will be looking for more from Misa Rush in the future.  Thank you to the everyone who gave me the chance to review this book.

Jun 3, 2011

Summer Reading List

I was sent this blog post by a friend yesterday, he said hit reader suggested it to him, but he thought I would enjoy it more.

How to Create an Awesome Summer Reading List

I must say...he knows me well!!

I am really excited to check out all of the social book sites.  I am, well was very addicted but have slacked lately, to Goodreads.  I love how you can join groups with common book interests and get real reviews rather just depending on the sites that actually sell the books. I never know if those are true, or just a way for the site to get you to buy the book.  I have also found a group on Goodreads that swaps ebooks and that is an awesome way to save a little money and still get to use my Nook for reading.

BUT, the one thing that I am MOST excited about is the book recommendation thing!! I didn't even know it existed! I am always stressed about what I should read next because there are SO MANY that I want to read!! I am definitely going to be checking this site out ASAP!

Do you have any sites you use for reading suggestions?  You have anything about this article that excites?

May 12, 2011

Blog Tour: Book Review - Voices on the Waves by Jessica Chambers

Voices on the Waves by Jessica Chambers:
When Faye Wakefield runs a competition offering nine lucky winners a two-week stay at her beautiful farmhouse retreat in Cornwall, she promises an experience they will never forget. However, even Faye could not have imagined how bringing these people together would change their lives forever.

Just as she hoped, the competition yields a diverse mix of characters. Among them are Leah Shaw, a shy young woman with troubled eyes; the womanizing business tycoon Marcus Armitage; Karenza Jackson ruled by her deep-rooted need for independence; retired nurse Bronwyn Davis, and Patrick O'Leary, an Irishman with an affiliation for the whisky bottle.

So begins a gently unfolding story of love and illicit affairs, heartache and self-discovery. Yet, as sparks fly and the guests share their long-buried secrets, only Faye knows of her ulterior motive for inviting them all under her roof.

From the beginning of the book I could not figure out WHY the competition was put on, and why these characters were chosen. I had trouble at the very beginning figuring out WHO was telling story, and why it was being told the way it was. Jumping from character to character is something new to me, and at first I had trouble following. It jumped straight into the characters and names and was very full of information from the first page.

As I continued to read I was able to get deep into each characters life, really connect with each of them on a personal level. I saw myself in many of the characters if not all of them.  I loved how the relationships were not always your typical romance, and you explored the ups and downs of what felt to me like 'real people'.  I also really enjoyed Faye's character...you knew she was the reason for everyone being on the retreat, but she was never over played as a character. She came in and out in the perfect times of the book, and you really began to understand WHY she brought them there and really connect with her as well.

I really hope to see a squeal maybe? I am new to this whole review world, even the reading world when it comes to actually connecting with characters and wanting MORE from a specific author. I feel Jessica left it with more to be desired in the perfect way.  Either way, sequel or not, I loved this book and was so very excited to have been able to read it.

Over all, the book was an easy read and one I did not want to put down until I finished. I have done nothing but talk about this book as being a must read and I suggest you get a copy...it is definitely recommended. Thank you to the author for letting me participate in the blog tour, and I hope to see more wonderful books by Jessica Chambers!

May 1, 2011

2011 Reading Challenge

This will be my post where I keep track of my progress and what books I've read for the 2011 Chick Lit Reading Challenge!

At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
  • Started January 1, 2011
  • Finished January 30, 2011
  • Format: Audiobook 
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
  • Started January 30, 2011
  • Finished February 12, 2011
  • Format: Hardback 
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Started January 30, 2011
  • Finished February 11, 2011
  • Format: Audiobook 
    The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum
    • Started February 11, 2011
    • Finished February 18, 2011
    • Format: Audiobook 
    Save As Draft by Cavanaugh Lee
    • Started February 12, 2011
    • Finished February 13, 2011
    • 2011 Debut Author
    • format: Ebook
      The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton
      • Started February 14, 2011
      • Finished February 20, 2011
      • Format: Ebook 
      The Redhead Revealed by Alice Clayton
      • Started February 19, 2011
      Good In Bed by Jennifer Wiener
      • Started February 20, 2011
      • Finished March 5, 2011
      • Format: Audiobook 
      The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
      • Started March 12, 2011
      • Finished April 29, 2011
      • Format: Audiobook
      Little Miss Teacher by Cassandra O'Sullivan Sachar
      • Started March 13, 2011
      • Finished March 27, 2011
      • Format: Ebook
      • 2011 Debut Author
      • Part of a Blog Tour and review will be posted on June 13th. 
      Voiced on the Waves by Jessica Chambers
      • Started March 30, 2011
      • Finished April 8, 2011
      • Format: Ebook
      • 2011 Debut Author
      • Part of a Blog Tour and review will be posted on May 12th 
      Family Pieces by Misa Rush
      • Started June 3, 2011
      • Finished June 6, 2011
      • Format: Ebook
      • 2011 Debut Author
      • Part of a Blog Tour and review will be posted on June 6th 
      Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker
      • Started June 1, 2011
      • Finished
      • Format: Ebook
      • 2011 Debut Author
      • Part of a Blog Tour and review will be posted on July 15thth