Saturday, May 26, 2018

Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally (Audiobook)

Hey Everyone!

Finished listening to Miranda Kenneally's Coming Up for Air during my drives to work!  I have had this book sitting on my night stand since last summer when it was released, but my head has just not been able to get into reading a book, so I figured out the next best thing...audiobooks!

From Goodreads:

All of Maggie's focus and free time is spent swimming.  She's not only striving to earn scholarships - she's training to qualify for the Olympics.  It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and that he cheers her on, but he's already earned his Olympic tryout, so sometimes his presence creates more pressure.  If that wasn't stressful enough, life become even more complicated once Maggie goes on a college visit.  There, she realizes how much of the typical high-school experience she's missed out on by being in the pool.  Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to try to squeeze the most out of her senior year while still training.  First up?  Making out with a guy.  Maggie figures that Levi could be the perfect candidate - after all, they already spend a lot of time together.  But as Maggie starts to discover her own feelings for Levi, she must decide how much she's willing to sacrifice int he water to win at love.

My Thoughts:

So first off, I want to say I did not read this book, I listened to it, which I feel sometimes makes a difference on your perspective of a book, because you listen to how a certain person would read the book; instead of being able to make up that perspective on your own.

That being said, I was not a fan of this storyline; which no matter the perspective you still get the gist of when reading or listening.

I really wanted to like it, I mean Miranda Kenneally has written a few of my favorite books!  I don't know if it is because my perspective has changed, or I'm getting to old for YA, but there were a few things that kind of ticked me off about this book.

1. Maggie.  What a privileged child!

Someone has to be pretty full of themselves if they can just out into the world, from one day to the next, and be like.... "I am going to find a guy to make out with today, party, and get rid of my virginity!"

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be mean, but not everyone has had the luxury to just put on a sexy outfit and find the first "hot" guy they see and "choose" them to make out with.

Must be nice!

Now I know this probably sounds like it is coming from a pretty bitter person, but you know what no!  I am happily married to someone that is my best friend and who I plan on spending the rest of my life with happily!

As I was reading this, I just couldn't help but looking back at the people I went to high school with, and remembering the person who was like Maggie...and let me just tell you, she came off as a real conceded "mean girl" sometimes.

I mean I get it.  Some people are just lucky.  Cool.  Good for them!  That doesn't mean I have to like them.

2. Maggie's "arrangement" with Levi.

The second you hear it, you know something like would never work.  Maggie near the end bothered me, because what did she expect????!!!!  It was HER IDEA!!  I got frustrated a few times in the car, as I heard her bitching.

3.  Overall, I guess I'm just disappointed by how this storyline went.  Now, I don't want to make it look bad for everyone else.  I have the utmost respect for Miranda Kenneally, like I said, I love her books! In fact, I own all of them!  They are all sitting very nicely situated in my book shelf, which since moving in with my husband three years ago, I have had to cut my books down to one shelf, and put the rest into storage, so to have a book on my shelf that I have already read, means that I must really like that author or book!

So Overall Rating:

So there were quite a few things I didn't like about this one.  I probably would never reread it, and I probably would not recommend it to anyone, unless it sounded like something that would to their liking (because after all, something I may have not liked, someone else may love it!  I am not here to judge readers, just getting out into words how I feel about the books I read!  

The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, April 6, 2018

13 Reasons Why (Netflix Series) Review

Hey Everyone,

This is a sort of Flashback Friday.  Back in 2011, I read and reviewed Jay Asher's book 13 Reasons Why.   What a year 2011 was.  A LOT has happened since then.  It's been 7 years.

As many of you know, 13 Reasons Why was turned into a Netflix series last year.  Well, due to my own problems, and lack-of-internet, mainly problems though, I did not watch the show when it first came out.  I knew I wasn't going to be emotionally "ready" for it.  To be honest, I don't think I was emotionally "ready" for it, when I started watching the show back in December.

When my husband and I evacuated for the Thomas Fire, we evacuated to San Louis Obispo, which is about two and a half hours North from where I live.  As some of you may or may not know, Jay Asher, the author of the book actually lives in San Louis Obispo.  So when our hotel had free internet, and we had brought my laptop, I finally turned on that first episode.  During the trip I watch seven of the thirteen episodes.  When we got back home, we didn't have the internet, and I needed a tiny break from the series.

This is an emotionally draining series.

For those of you who don't know what the book or show is about:

From iMDB:

Follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.

My Thoughts Continued:

It was hard.  It was good!  But it was hard to watch!  That last episode guys...I did not expect that.  Hannah, wow Hannah.   I just want to give her a hug.  I want her to know she is not alone, people love her, and just to please not do it.  Jessica I started to really like by the end of the show, her character became very powerful.  It takes a lot to do what she did, after what happened to her.

Hannah's mom, loved Kate Walsh's portrayal of Hannah's Mom!  She was good!

I know this is a short review, but I just don't know what else to say, without giving away too much!  Check it out guys!

Overall Rating:

Read the book and watch it!

The Romance Bookie  

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Royal Wedding (Princess Diaries #11) by Meg Cabot (Audiobook Review)

Hello Everyone,

So I have an amazing husband!  I mean, I already knew this, but wow, did I get lucky!

So he knows how big of a fan of Meg Cabot I am.  Especially her Princess Diaries series!  Well, I've been on an audiobook kick, because my head has been able to concentrate on a book in ages, and audiobooks are the only thing that have allowed me to continue "reading".

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I got my hands on the audiobook of Royal Wedding (which is the final book in the series), and have been listening to that.  Well, last week I get home, and guess what was in the mail??

The ENTIRE series on audiobook!!  My husband legitimately ordered me The Princess Diaries Series on AUDIOBOOK!!!

So I have something to listen to over the next YEAR!

Anyway, here is my review for the audiobook of Royal Wedding, the final installation in the Princess Diaries Series.

From Goodreads:

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity: living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements.  And speaking of engagements.  Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend, Michael, managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question!  Of course, Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know her answer was a royal "oui".

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: her grandmother has leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom.  Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a stomach.  Can Mia prove to everyone -- especially herself -- that she's not only read to wed, but ready to rule as well?

My Thoughts:

What can I say?  I love this series.  Always have, always will.  I never get tired of reading or listening to it, even when I am the biggest reading rut since before I started becoming a reader in middle school.  This was running while I was driving too and from work, and it was such a great pick-me-up, to my many rough patches happening in my life right now.  When I read this book, originally in 2015, I felt such a joy reading it, because it had been six years since the concluding the original ending of Forever Princess in early 2009.  I was so happy to be back in the world of Mia!  Now it's been almost three years again, a lot has happened in my life; and I found myself wanting to be in Mia's world again.

Of course, I give it:

I know that 50% of this blog has been dedicated to either Meg Cabot or the Princess Diaries Series, so I apologize if you're not a fan.  Her book just give me so much joy, I just can't resist!  I hope you give them a chance, if you haven't!

The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Laugh It Up!: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy by Candace Payne (Audiobook)

Hey Everyone!

So who remembers this video?

A bunch of you right? Or maybe not, I don't know.  I remember my mom sharing it on Facebook, and then it just showing up everywhere!  Funny thing, I never got around to seeing it, up until about a week ago.

I was rather surprised to receive Laugh It Up! Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy, the audiobook, by Candace Payne (Chewbacca Mom herself!) for Christmas from my mom.  Apparently, Candace Payne is some sort of inspirational speaker now.  She inspires people to believe in joy and just enjoy themselves.


That word...

I have never heard that word used so much before.  No joke, the word "joy" must have been used EASILY a hundred times in this book.

From Goodreads:

The world knows Candace Payne as "Chewbacca Mom", the wife and mother of two from Dallas who captured the hearts of nearly 200 million people around the world with nothing but a toy Chewbacca mask, a smart phone, and infectious laughter.

Candace's viral moment of simple joy became Facebook Live's top video.  But what the video doesn't show is Candace's storied journey of daunting obstacles on the way to the joy-filled life -- extreme poverty, past trauma, and struggles with self-worth.

Laugh It Up! tells the rest of the story behind the woman in the mask.  Like most of us, Candace has often felt overlooked, undervalued, and insignificant.  But she has also discovered the secrets to unshakeable joy that no circumstance can take away, and Laugh It Up! will help you discover and experience the same.

Join Candace to discover the gift God has given us all to experience life to the fullest.  All you need to do is answer "yes" when joy, whom Candace personifies as a friend, calls you to come and play.

Do your knees knock when thinking the future?  Joy hopes for what can be.
Do you feel unseen and unnoticed?  Joy is content whether backstage or center stage.
Do you feel crushed under the weight of regret?  Joy loves you enough to weep with you, but also enough to help you move on.
When life punches you in the gut, it can be difficult to muster a smile -- must less a laugh.  But with humor and power, wit and wisdom, Candace lights the way forward to a life that is free indeed. 

My Review:

So...first off, I'm just going to say it...

Why did Chewbacca Mom write a book??  

One YouTube Video and that needs an autobiography??  

My mom got me this audiobook, hoping it would cheer me up and get me to laugh.  It is not a cheery book.  Besides her rants about "joy" throughout the book, there was honestly not much to laugh at.  

Where to start...

First off, there were quite a few rants throughout this book.  Not only about "Joy".  There were five minute descriptions about the plots of the Disney movies Inside Out and The Lion King...not necessary.  A lot of people have seen those movies, and if they haven't, they need a one sentence (two tops) description, and then people can look them up themselves.  

Second, her choice of words got to me.  "The struggle is real", was used multiple times, and same with "what evs".  Both of them make me cringe so much anytime I hear them.  From anyone!  Hearing it on audio...ugh.  She also used hashtags in her sentences.  Also cringe worthy!

And third, she was a bit preachy for my taste.  

Now, while this book wasn't the enlightening experience my mom thought I would receive, it had its moments.  I can see where Candace is coming from.  She really does seem like she is trying very hard to fit in, and be a happy person.  I truly admire that.  

I will say this...I still don't really understand why an autobiography was necessary for Chewbacca Mom.  Now, to be fair, some people really wanted this...I guess.  I am just wondering how many people saw the Chewbacca Mom video and thought "I want an autobiography!"??  

This woman has had things happen to her in her life, but so has my neighbor, my cousins, people I see on the street, and even myself.  But I don't think that means those people need to write a book about it.  Shit happens.  Please excuse my language. But seriously!!

Overall Review:

So overall, this book is an okay read, just not something I found to be helpful myself.  I wanted more humor, I think is what it is, but that didn't happen.  And I may have walked away disappointed.  I am giving it two bookies, just because there still were a couple of good moments that I enjoyed.  Like her story of going to Disney World.  But overall, I found it to be an unnecessary rant about "joy", and how a broke mom bought a Chewbacca mask, and made a viral video that has been viewed about 200 million times; and how her entire life before led to that random glorious moment, that led to her five minute fame.  That being said, I think it is admirable that a stay-at-home mom of two boys was able to get out of her shell and get out into the world, and experience things.  

The Romance Bookie :)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Fifty Shades Freed (Movie Review)


So my husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day a few days late, because of work and us both having gotten the flu.  So Saturday we spent a nice day out, getting Nitrogen made Ice Cream at a place called Sub Zero, eating a late lunch out, and seeing the movie Fifty Shades Freed.  Even though this series's luster has died down a bit, since its insanity began a few years back, I still find these to be a guilty pleasure.  While the first movie, I found there to be a few things missing, I loved the second one!  I found the character growth to be phenomenal!  The part where Christian bows down to Anna and you see that moment of submissiveness in him, I found to be incredible!

So yesterday my husband and I saw the final installation in the series.  Now, thinking back on it, it has finally hit me that this is it!  There will be no more, and to be honest, I am going to say the one thing that many people will not agree with me on...I wish they had split the final book into two movies.  I really do.

So if you have been living under a rock these last five or even six years, here is a description of the final movie in the series.

This is from IMDB:

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Freed, the climatic chapter based on the worldwide bestselling "Fifty Shades" phenomenon.  Bringing to a shocking conclusion events set in motion in 2015 and 2017's blockbuster films that grossed more than $950 million globally, the film arrives for Valentine's Day 2018. 

Believing that they left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury.  But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relazes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.


The movie went right into it!  It wasn't drawn out as in the book, straight to the point.  Christian and Ana got married, they went on their honeymoon.  And then!  And then more sex.  But honestly, the sex isn't my favorite part.  It's Christian and Ana's chemistry.  Like I mentioned above, I think these actors have really grown into their characters.  I personally, am very happy they picked Jamie Dornan.  He is perfect!  

The movie did feel a little rushed at times.  I wish they could have spent more time when it comes to the house Ana and Christian buy, and the bitchy architect.  Plus there was mention of Elena (aka Mrs. Robinson), but she was nowhere to be seen.  We didn't get to really hear much more about Christian's background, besides little information about his foster home life.  

Ana could be a little infuriating at times, just because she wanted to rebel against Christian and be in control of her own life, which I totally get, but at the same time Christian just wanted her to be safe!  I know I know, feminism and all, I shouldn't be agreeing with the controlling billionaire who has some serious issues.  But he really cares about her.  

Overall review...

Four Mookies!   Really enjoyed it, and in fact I want to see again right now, but given insane movie ticket prices, I am just going to have to wait for it to come on blu-ray!  The reason why it got four not five, is because I wish it had gone a little more into details on certain things.  Even if it could have been an hour longer, or split into two!  I am bummed that another series has officially come into an end.  Overall, I do like the movies more than the books. I haven't been able to get into the series EL James has written that has the series in the POV of Christian, her writing just has gotten to me.  I liked them when I originally read them, but listening to the audiobooks has sort of ruined the books for me.  The woman who did Ana's voice...oh god, terrible!

But definitely go see it, if you've ever like the series!  I cannot wait to see it again!

The Romance Bookie :)