Friday, April 28, 2017

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's #1) by Ransom Riggs (Audiobook)

Hey Everyone,

I actually cannot believe I am writing this review right now, because to be honest, there are a thousand other things that I need to be doing right now, but I am so ready for my yearly book event tomorrow (YALL WEST!!!) that I just couldn't wait to finally be able to write a review again!

So I do have some exciting news...

After months and months of the sh*# that my life has become I got some good news last Friday.  Not only am I graduating on May 20th, with my bachelor's in Early Childhood Studies, but I will also be graduating with Honors!  This has been the ultimate goal since I lost my dad in September. I knew I had to keep going, I knew my dad would want me to finish school; and for my own goal I wanted to make him extra proud by graduating with honors.  And I did it.

But school is not over just yet.  I have made my final homework list!  Which means as soon as I get through this list of things to do for school...I am officially done with my undergrad education!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have been working towards this for EIGHT YEARS!! I know I know, that is a long time, some may say too long, but I did it!! I DID IT!!! I never gave up, and always kept going, and that is what is important!

Anyway, along the way this semester, I have been commuting a lot to school and student teaching, while still working, and I have been listening to audiobooks from the library!  And one of those books was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, which is the first book in the Miss Peregrine series!

From Goodreads:

A mysterious island.  An abandoned orphanage.  A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar.  They may have been dangerous.  They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason.  And somehow -- impossible though it seems -- they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children  will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

My Thoughts:

So before I begin my review, I just want to let everyone who is reading this know that I may be shunned for my answer on what I thought about this book.  Please be nice, once again I must mention this is just what I thought of the story, and it does not mean I am trying to change anyone else's opinion of the story, or make anyone's opinion seem invalid.  This is not fact. Only opinion.

Are you ready for the bombshell?...

I am going to say this very quickly...

I liked the movie better than the book.

I know I know, terrible right?

To be fair, this is not my type of book.  It is very dark, a bit slow in reading, and quite frankly the opposite of what I normally read.  I like my girly-girl romance novels, so to go from that to something that has an almost Stephen King pretty shocking.

Which is why I thought it might be better to listen to the book via audiobook, instead of reading it.

I did see the movie before reading the book, which might very well be why I have the opinion that  I do.  But let me explain further...

I was not a fan of Jacob.  I do not know if it was the narrator, but all-in-all I do not think so, because I did read part of the book, before ultimately switching to the audiobook.   I have been trying to read that book for well over a year now.

I thought Jacob was a spoiled entitled teenager, which was a huge turn off for me.  I think he is definitely the reason why I had a hard time getting through the book, and to be honest, I even had to switch to music while listening to the audiobook, because I just got tired of listening to him whine.

I know, I know, I am being super critical right now, and probably have a million fans, if they were to hear this, wanting to attack.

HOWEVER, I really do love the idea of this story!  It is such a thrilling, interesting tale that did have me continuing.  The book was obviously much more detailed than the movie, which I loved!  The movie just kept things moving much faster, which helped in my case, because like I said, this just isn't my style of reading.

I do have one other thing that bothered me a little, was it just me or was Miss Peregrine a lot less likable in the book than in the movie?  I feel she, first off, was not as prominent of a character as she was in the movie, which was a little surprising.  I mean, do not get me wrong, she is talked about throughout the book, but she does not appear all that often in my opinion.  However, that may have to do with the slowness of the book.

The slowness, however, did not really throw me off.  It can be expected with the first book in a series, when everyone is being introduced and the storyline is on its start-off.

Anyway overall rating:

It was good, not my style, but still had a good storyline.  Jacob is the ultimate decider on me not giving it four bookies, only because I have no near-by future intention of getting the second one immediately.  I do definitely see the appeal in the series, it is the most unique storyline that I have read-seen in the last few years, and that has me excited and really hoping for the second one to be made into a movie!!

The Romance Bookie

PS:  Again, really hope I did not offend any fans here!! Love you all, and definitely respect other's opinions!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski (Audiobook)

Hey Everyone,

I have another audiobook review for you!  This one was a pretty quick one!

From Goodreads:

Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have). 

We weren't always like this.  We used to be average New York City high school sophomores.  Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects.  Maybe a headache.  Maybe a sore arm.  We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers.  But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking.  Our friends.  Our parents.  Our crushes.  Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy.  That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper.  That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.  

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests.  We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us.  We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs.  We always know what's coming.  Some of us will thrive.  Some of us will crack.

None of us will ever be the same.

So stop obsessing about your ex.  We're always listening.

My Thoughts:

I originally read this one as an ARC back in 2014, shortly after it was first released.  I remember liking it just as much as I did this time around!  I really need to read more of Sarah Mlynowski's books!  I have one more of her's right now, Bras and Broomsticks, that I want to listen to as soon as I'm done with the one I started yesterday!  I read Bras and Broomsticks back during my sophomore year of high school I believe, so it has been ten years now!

Anyway, about Don't Even Think About it!  I really liked this audiobook!  Erin Spencer, the narrator of this one, was super good!  She did the voices great, especially since she put in charge of being over a dozen different characters throughout the book!

I found myself busting out laughing multiple times in the car on my to Student Teaching, work, and school.  When hearing Nurse Carmichael's thoughts at the beginning...OMG that was hilarious!

Mackenzie bothered me at times, just because I do not really understand cheaters.  Why they sabotage themselves like that?  But she really did try to make things work out between her and Cooper.

Tess, I liked a lot.  Being in love with your best friend, and hearing his thoughts, especially the thoughts that Teddy was having... That must suck!

Olivia, I loved how she grew over this book!  The telepathy really gave her some much-needed confidence!

It was really just hilarious hearing all the random thoughts going through everyone's minds!  Mainly, because I am sure that is totally what is going on in people's heads!

Overall Rating of the Audiobook:

I definitely recommend this one!  It is a fun easy listening piece, and will have laughing to whatever destination you're headed!

The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Winter (#4 in the Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer (Audiobook)

Hello Everyone,

Because of my crazy schedule, switching between student teaching, school, and work, I have not had time to pick up a book in months.  I am counting down to when I get start again!  It is looking like towards the end of May, but then it also depends on my sanity at this point, because it is looking a little iffy at this point.  All I know, that this summer better involve some fun and relaxing time!  I am tired!

The only "fun" thing I have been able to do (and that depends on your definition of "fun"), is listen to audiobooks as I commute from home to student teaching, student teaching to work, and then at night make the hour long drive to school.  It has been a nice change, because to be honest as much as I had been a music lover before everything happened in my life, I have had a hard time listening to music since my dad passed away.  So audiobooks have been a nice change!

Anyway, I have been trying to read Winter since Christmas 2015!  Which is when my husband went out of his way, and went on a search to find me the most special edition he could find!  He tried eBay (which had copies on the ups of $400!), obviously we couldn't afford that, but then Barnes and Noble and Walmart only had the basic editions.  But then he went to Target and found a really beautiful edition containing pictures of all the characters inside the book cover.

It has been bumming me out for over a year now that I haven't had time to read Winter, because the Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series!  It is just such an intense series, that you really need to have the concentration in order to read it!  Especially when it is the conclusion to the series!

So anyway, on to my review!

From Goodreads:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin.  But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years.  Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?  Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

My Thoughts:

Wow, just wow! Marissa Meyer seriously knows how to tell a story!  Even if it is a story that has been told over and over again, she is able to put a spin on it, that makes its own unique tale!  Unbelievable!  I am sad that the series has come to an end, but happy to dig into Heartless, which has been sitting on my bookshelf since December (my 2016 Christmas book from my husband 💜).

Princess Winter is an interesting character.  I do not know if she is my favorite, to be honest, that goes to Cinder, but she was a great edition to the Lunar Chronicles.  She and Jacin, who was introduced before, are so sweet together.  Hearing Winter have her episodes was, I know this is weird to say, but good!  Rebecca Soler just sounded like she belonged in a padded room, which was exactly the type of situation Winter's state of mind was in!

My favorite part of this series has always been that we get to hear from all the characters!  Even though Winter is the main characters, I would say at least half the book is still about the others!

Marissa Meyer has put so much detail into this series, and it is honestly so incredible!

Then to the audiobook! OMG I LOVED IT!  Rebecca Soler is SO GOOD!  I am actually planning on borrowing the others from the library, because I had no idea that one person can be so many characters, and be so incredible at it!  Scarlet!  This may sound so silly, because I know that Scarlet is from what we know as France, but hearing Scarlet come alive through Rebecca, was just perfect!  Her voice for Levana...PERFECT!  So creepy!  I loved Fairest, but I am really curious to hear it on audiobook now!

I seriously got the chills listening in the car!

Overall Rating:

Really liked this one! I think one day I will actually read the book, but this was a great way to hear the story!  Normally I have liked to read the book first, and then listen to the audiobook, to get that different point of view, but first off, I am glad that I have been able to finally hear Winter's story, but also that Rebecca Soler was able to bring all these characters alive in such an incredible way!

Definitely recommend this series, and if you do not have the mind set to read, which I can understand, then listen to this audiobook!  I know they are expensive!  But if you go to your local library, they should have it, and if not, be able to order it for you!

Mandy @The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer (Audiobook)

Hey Everyone,

So I am going to be honest with you, I have not been reading.  I just started my last semester of university, I will graduating this May with my Bachelor's in Early Childhood Studies.  It has been an incredibly long journey, with many hardships, but I'm almost there.  My semester consists of work Monday through Friday, school two nights a week, and three days of student teaching a week to complete my 196 hours needed to graduate.  Week two just ended, and I will admit I'm tired.  So tired that I used a sick day from work today (SHHH...) and took a nap this afternoon.  I know, totally irresponsible, but it's been a rough few months, and it isn't going to get any easier anytime soon.  I just need to keep going, and if that means taking a couple off, on a slower day, then so be it.

But anyway, I drive a lot, I commute, and the car rides can get pretty dull.  So I went to the library last weekend, and borrowed a couple of their audiobooks!  I miss reading, but to be honest, I just haven't been in the mindset to be able to settle down and read a book.

I started off with something easier to settle into...The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer.

From Goodreads:

There are starter jobs, starter car, starter houses, and then there are starter wives.  From the bestselling author of "Man-eater" comes "The Starter Wife," a sexy, savvy, and wickedly funny novel about life after divorce and one woman redefining herself after years of marriage to a Hollywood studio head.

When her husband Kenny dumps her by cell phone mere months before their ten-year wedding anniversary, Gracie Pollock finds herself reeling.  Though her nine-year role as the wife of a semi famous Hollywood studio executive often left her dry and she never fully embraced the "status" (according to Kenny), Gracie has grown accustomed to the unique privileges afforded by Tinseltown's brand of power and wealth: reservations at Spago on a Friday night; beauty treatments by dermatologists (Arnie), manicurists (Jessica), and colorists (Cristophe) to the stars; line-jumping at Disneyland with her daughter and Ugg-wearing celebrity offspring.  And despite the fact she had consented to name their daughter Jaden in a (failed) attempt to lure Will Smith to one of Kenny's productions, Gracie believed she and Kenny were different from other Hollywood couples.  She never thought she'd be a "starter wife."  But now that her marriage is over, her phone isn't ringing, her mailbox is empty, and it's only through faux pas by her world-class florist that she learns her husband has upgraded: Kenny is dating a pop tartlet.

With images of Kenny's 'tween queen everywhere she turns, Gracie seeks refuge at her best friend's Malibu mansion for some much-needed divorce therapy.  Soon she's associating with all the wrong people, including a mysterious hunk who saves her from drowning, the security guard at her gated community, and -- God forbid -- Kenny's boss, one of Hollywood's better known Lotharios.

With her signature wit, sassy style, and cameos of the rich and famous -- and wannabe rich and famous -- Gigi Grazer tackles the most delicious and dastardly details of a divorce and recovery, Hollywood style.

My Thoughts:

So I don't know if anyone remembers when USA (the TV Channel) came out with the TV show "The Starter Wife"?  Well that show was based on the book by Gigi Levangie Grazer.  Unfortunately the show was canceled after only ten episodes, which was a serious bummer, because my mom and I actually liked it!

But anyway, after all these years, I've always still wondered how the show was supposed to end!  So when I found The Starter Wife audiobook at my local library I ended up checking it out and listened to it on my commute to school.

Overall, it was okay to be honest.  The story was kind of a bit everywhere for me.  I think it may be partially because I listened to the audiobook versus reading the actual book.  I felt the lay out of the overall story was confusing, especially when listening to it.  At first, my cd's were messed up because out of nowhere it switched point-of-views, and there was no warning!  The whole first half of the book was in the point of view of Gracie, and then out of nowhere it switched into Sam's point-of-view!  When Sam's point-of-view happened, the reader had not even been fully introduced yet to Sam.  We didn't even know his name.  The chapters must not have names, because the transitions felt really weird.

Overall, the story was interesting.  Gracie was an interesting character, I was not a huge fan of her character's voice for the novel.  Gracie gave up everything to be a part of the 90210 world.  Everything, including her up-and-coming writing career, to be with her up-and-coming producer Hollywood husband.

I feel the tough part about audiobooks is you here the readers interpretation of a story, which might be different than what you might interpret it off as you read the book yourself.  Normally, I don't listen to audiobooks until after I have read a book myself, and given it my own interpretation.  But having no time to read, I've decided to give audiobooks more of a try.


Overall, The Starter Wife kept me entertained on my car rides to and from school and student teaching.  The transitions were a little confusing for me, because one second it would be about Gracie, and then out-of-nowhere it was about Sam.  I thought I had gotten a different audiobook in the mix!  I also felt the ending was a bit rushed, or far-fetched.  I don't want to give it away, but everything seemed to end pretty quickly and kind-of out of nowhere, in my opinion.

The Romance Bookie