Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Turquoise - A Love Story by Ayshe Talay-Ongan

Title: Turquoise - A Love Story
Author: Ayshe Talay-Ongan
Genre: Romance
Release date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers
Format: eBook
Pages: 456
Source: JKS Communications
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from June 14 - 18, 2012
My rating: 1 star: I don't like it 
Summary: Set against transcendent love, unrelenting hatred and loyalties to friends and family, Turquoise is the story of an enduring and passionate love affair between Yasmin and Renan, which spans two decades, two marriages and three continents. Yasmin and her Armenian classmate Ani were oblivious to ethnic differences during their school years in Istanbul. Years later they run into each other, and Ani introduces Renan, her husband, to Yasmin. At that moment under the blazing autumn skies, as Yasmin locks eyes with Renan, she knows that she has come upon her destiny. But political tensions in their land soon force Renan, her secret love, and his family to immigrate to Sydney. A few years on, Yasmin's diplomat father is appointed as the Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles where the family faces a devastating tragedy that will impact their lives in ways unfathomable. She is now forced to make a choice between passion that defines her and reason that guides her. When so much is stacked against Yasmin and Renan, how can love possibly triumph? 


Let me begin by just saying I did not like this book. I honestly don't know why I was interested in it, because reading the provided summary just now, I realized that it's not the kind of book that I would normally read. I have no one to blame but myself for this part. Lessen learned. Always make sure the book is something you really want to read before committing yourself to it.

In this review I'm going to be brutally honest. There are a lot of things I didn't like about this book, and sadly, none I liked. While this book neither enraged me nor bored me, reading it was a bad experience for me, and I didn't think the book was even well-written, so I had to give this book a lonely one star. It simply isn't my kind of book.

First of all the problems I had with Turquoise is this: the narration. I didn't like the way the book is narrated in the present tense when it really sounds more like a recount of the past. I found that maybe the past tense might be more fitting. This annoyed me a little bit.

The biggest problem is the undeniable fact that I didn't like the story. It touches on Turkish politics, which is always a sensitive subject. I normally don't enjoy books involving politics to begin with. It also didn't help that I have no background information about Turkish politics. It just failed to interest me. The love story isn't even interesting. Love at first sight? Alright. Constant obsession? Understandable. But that love is requited? I didn't buy it. And all these fusses about marriage and love affair? They exhausted me. This book did.

There was also a problem with the characters. Honestly, I didn't like any of the characters. I can't even try to tell you about them or even the main characters because I really had no idea what they're like. I didn't know them. Plus, there are simply too many characters to keep up with. I finished the book not remembering anyone but a few main characters. The other characters are just names without faces, who come in here and there to keep the story going, coming to visit, only to disappear and come back almost a hundred pages later or something like that. The way the author tells us about them doesn't make them at all memorable. They're flat and lifeless. And there are just too many characters. Much more than I find necessary in a novel. 

Not only did an excess of characters prevent me from enjoying the book, but also the constant switching of places. It seems the characters in this book are always going from somewhere to another. From this house to that, this city to that, this country to that. They move all the time and I found this very confusing. I didn't know where they are most of the time, and at one point, I decided I didn't care anymore. 

And the length. My God, the length! 456 pages is no joke. I think I wouldn't have picked it up had I known it is this long. (Lesson learned!) I had been reading this book thoroughly and attentively until I was around 64% of the book, then I just lost my patient and skimmed all the way through until the end. I have to say I saw the "resolution" coming. Waiting for your partner to screw up (when you've been secretly misbehaving all the time) and using it as an excuse to end your marriage and then flee. As if your misconducts have been justified. Classic. 

To sum it all up: I didn't like this book. I wish I hadn't read it at all. It's not for me.


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This review is also posted on Goodreads.
A digital copy of this book was provided by JKS Communications for review and blog tour.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

 
Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release date: November 22, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
First publication: May 1, 2011
Format: eBook
Pages: 336
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from May 29 to June 2, 2012
My rating: 5 stars: I love it! It's amazing! + Favorite
Summary: Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why. When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California. Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs. Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again. 


It hurts, but it's supposed to, because that's what it means to be alive. 

As soon I finished Saving June with teary face and and runny nose at 2AM of June 2, I wanted to write a review, but I was far too distracted by the grief I was feeling to do anything but cry. I didn't intend to wait this long to review this wonderful book, but things have been hectic for me after that night. After uni started, this is the first time in a week that I can just quietly sit and write a review.

I don't remember the last time I gave 5 stars to a book, but I have a feeling it must've been some time ago. Yes, I just checked, it was April 27, Divergent. So yeah, that was some time ago. I don't normally rate YA Contemporary books 5 stars, but Saving June definitely deserves it. I can't recall why I waited so long to read this book, but whatever reason I had, it was stupid. You all should read this book. I loved this book. I love it, I love it, I love it.

Harper Scott, aged 16, is devastated after her sister June's suicide. She doesn't know where to put the blame. June was perfect. She was the girl who had everything. Everyone preferred perfect, pretty, smart, kind and sociable June to Harper, who's always in the shadows of her sister, always second best. This is the reason why Harper can't figure out why June would end her life. Because she misses June, she often finds herself in front of June's bedroom door. After spending some time there, Harper discovers mysterious CDs that were given to June. She follows the trace and finds that there are a lot of things she didn't know about her sister, a lot of things she didn't care enough to notice. With determination to do something right one last time for June, she decides to take June's remains to the place June longed to be most--California. And so begins Harper's road trip, accompanied by her best friend Laney, and Jake, someone who knew June the way Harper didn't. At the end of the day, Harper will find that this road trip isn't just about June, but it's what she needs as well.

Have I already said I love this book? I can't say it enough times. I still remember how it made me feel. I was lying there on my bed, refusing to go to sleep even when it was way past midnight, taking in every word, every emotion, everything. Re-reading passages I found beautiful. I was crying so hard. I love beautifully written books that involve death and heartache and teenage angst and fear and self-discovery that can tug at your heartstrings and turn your eyes into running faucets. Saving June is the perfect blend of all those elements.

Even after 6 days, I still haven't forgot about it. I still constantly think about it, re-read highlighted passages, quote it. How can you forget lines like: "I have sixteen years' worth of memories, and they mean more than bone and ash ever could." No, you can't. I can't. I lost my father when I was fifteen, and that's pretty young, so I really knew what she was talking about. When I was reading, Harper's grief became my own. I really love when this happens. I love when I can emotionally connect myself with what I'm reading, with the main characters. Attaching myself to them gives me an entirely new and awesome experience which almost always includes emotional roller-coasters and a lot of tears and a bunch of nostalgia. Loss, death, heartache--these are topics I love to immerse myself in. This book speaks of all these sad emotions with a wonderful, raw voice of Harper Scott. I think you know what I'm talking about if you've lost someone you love once in your life. I think Harper speaks for everyone when she says: "If God does exist, then He's just an asshole, creating this world full of human suffering and letting all these terrible things happen to good people, and sitting there and doing nothing about it." I could sense hatred, sorrow, disappointment, guilt, and frustration in her words. They haunt me. This book is so heartbreaking, so real, so raw, so honest.

I love the characters. Harper really tries to be strong, but there are times that she just breaks down and lets herself be overcome with sadness. She lives with the guilt of having said terrible things to June, not knowing that those would be the last words. This really hit close to home. That's a huge thing to live with. You know, when you want to take back stupid things and terrible words, it's far too late? You don't realize how much you believed in the future until there is no future. There was always "tomorrow" to tell someone you love them, until there wasn't. Then there's really nothing you can do except to accept that you'll "end up a footnote in the life she left behind." I often found her saying the words I have been trying to find but couldn't put together myself. I want to give her the tightest hug in the world. Apart from Harper, I also love Jake. Jake is really someone I want to know in real life. He's sweet and a gentleman but he doesn't always show it. He's passionate about music and lives through it. And Laney is also someone I'd want to have for a best friend. She's supportive without asking questions. I think the author did an amazing job creating these characters. They all have their own problems but they fit together perfectly. They made me felt like I really knew them, and in a way, I really did.

I can say I love everything about this book, and there's not a thing I can think of that I want to change. I'm so glad that I finally read it. Not a lot of books can make you both laugh and cry. I marked it as my favorite, meaning it's a book I'm definitely going to read again and again and again. I can't get enough of this book. I'm already looking forward to the next time. 

In the book there are a lot of references to music, which I really liked. And at the end of the book, the author gave us the playlists that are talked about in the story. Here are Saving June playlists:

1. Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum


2. Jake's "Say My Name" Mix


3. Saving June



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This review is also posted on Goodreads.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Promo Post: Want by Stephanie Lawton

Hi guys! Today B's Book Blog is happy to participate in Want's Release Day PartyWant by Stephanie Lawton is released today. In this post you'll learn about Want and the exclusive book birthday 30% discount, and you'll also have a chance to win one of the 5 eBook copies of Want!

Forbidden fruit can be the sweetest—or the most dangerous.

Title: Want 
Author: Stephanie Lawton 
Genre: Young Adult Romance 
Release Date: June 7, 2012 

BlurbJulianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her. She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past. Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her? 

EXCLUSIVE QUOTE FOR B'S BOOK BLOG!: 
When I finish, I hear the clock tick like a metronome. I sing a little ditty in my head, “Tick tock, goes the clock. Tick tock, tick tock …” and I wait for his judgment like a gladiator in the ring, wondering if my performance gets me a thumbs up or down; live or die; mercy or none.
Early Praise:
"A heart-rending, romantic, and compulsively readable debut. You will remember Juli and Isaac for a long time to come!" --R.A. Nelson, author of Teach Me and Throat

“A powerful masterpiece, exploring tough issues, sweet love, and high stakes…”– Aubrie Dionne, Author of “Paradise 21”

“This story opened my eyes to how exciting contemporary YA romance can be” – Lisa Voisin, Author of “The Watcher”

EXCLUSIVE BOOK BIRTHDAY DISCOUNT!
Buy the book now at Inkspell Publishing Store and enjoy a special EXCLUSIVE 30% discount! Offer valid only till 14th June!
Curious about some “behind-the-curtain” scenes? Read her short story “Aftertaste” for free!
GIVEAWAY
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Guest Post: Monique Domovitch

Hello people! Today we have Monique Domovitch as a guest blogger to our site. She is having an exciting 99cent promotion for her books, Scorpio Rising and The Sting of the Scorpio and is also doing a mega giveaway on her blog. Go check it out to win gift certificates to Amazon and free books!
http://MoniqueDomovitch.com


Deciding to become a writer was a natural extension of falling in love.

People often ask me what attracted me to the life of a writer, and I have to say it was a natural extension of falling in love…with books, which I have been for as long as I can remember.

I remember my mother taking me to the public library when I was as young as four years old. That was when she introduced me to Madeline, the little schoolgirl. As teenager, I discovered Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames, and then Harlequin books. And then I really fell in love for the first time. I was in England where my friends introduced me to a book by Wilbur Smith.
I think I hadn't read ten pages of his book--can't remember the title anymore--when I knew this was it. I could spend the rest of my life in bed with this writer's books.

Over the next few years, Wilbur Smith’s books made me discover Africa, where I met animals I'd never heard of, and villains the likes of which I hope to never meet. I was swept into his stories of love and passion and greed; stories from which I never wanted to walk away. I devoured book after book of his, until, of course, the inevitable happened. I caught up with every last one of his books and was facing a long void until his next book hit the stands. And I, fickle reader that I am, had an affair with a few other authors, and then it happened again. I read Dominic Dunne. And wham. I was in love again.

With Dominic Dunne’s books, I spent time with the truly rich and the truly manipulative. How can anyone forget books like The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, or An Inconvenient Woman, or A Season in Purgatory? Once I discovered them, I was hooked. Forgive me Dominic, for I betrayed you too when I discovered my next big love, Nelson De Mille.

De Mille is a master of sharp, snappy talk, and he makes all those words come out of the mouth of a sexy good cop with a bad attitude--John Corey. Now here's the funny part. I don't really know what John Corey looks like, except that he has scars on his chest from some bullet wounds. I also know that John Corey is almost as fickle when it comes to love as I am when it comes to favorite authors. He seems to fall in love with a different woman in almost every one of his adventures. That is, until he met and married Kate. But who knows, so far she's only been around for a couple of novels. For all I know she'll be dropped off, maybe even killed in the next book, and then sexy John will be available again and I can go on dreaming.

Now here's something you might not know about me. I'm married, and—get this—my husband doesn't mind my little dalliances with all these authors...as long as I don't meet them in person that is.
And why am I blabbing about all these loves of mine? Because, every time I start a new project, I hope with all my heart, that I infuse my novel with enough passion and ambition and greed that when you, dear reader, read my work, you will fall—perhaps just a little bit—in love with my characters. And I promise to love you right back, even knowing that I will never be able to write fast enough to keep your from someday leaving me for some other writer.


C’est la vie!

Monique

Monique Domovitch lives with her physician husband and their three dogs. They divide their time between their homes in Canada and La Jolla. Find her at http://MoniqueDomovitch.com











About the books
 
Summary of Scorpio Rising (The Scorpio Series, #1)
Set in New York and Paris amid the glamorous and competitive worlds of art and real estate, Scorpio Rising takes the reader from the late 1940s to the 1960s through the tumultuous lives of its heroes.
There is Alex Ivanov, the son of a Russian immigrant and part-time prostitute. He yearns to escape his sordid life and achieve fame and fortune. His dreams of becoming a world-class builder are met with countless obstacles, yet he perseveres in the hope of someday receiving the recognition he craves.
Half a world away, Brigitte Dartois is an abused teenager who runs into the arms of a benefactor with an agenda all his own. When she finds out that her boss has an ulterior motive, she flees again, determined to earn her living through her art. This career brings her fame, but also the unwanted attention of her early abuser.
Monique Domovitch’s debut novel, Scorpio Rising, is a compelling tale filled with finely etched characters and a superb understanding of the power of ambition. Scorpio Rising promises to resonate with all who once had a dream.

Summary of The Sting of the Scorpio (The Scorpio Series, #2)
In Scorpio Rising, Monique Domovitch presented a compelling tale filled with colorful characters and the manipulation of power, ambition, and greed. Now she gives us its spellbinding sequel, The Sting of the Scorpio, where Alexander Ivanov returns to New York with his new bride, Brigitte.
The real estate industry is ripe with opportunity. Blessed with irresistible charm, ambition, and the single-minded obsession to succeed, Alex plots and manipulates his way to almost mystical success. Everything he touches turns to gold, but it’s never enough. When a hostile takeover bid leaves him struggling to save his beloved company, he suspects those closest to him of plotting his downfall.
Brigitte, the beautiful redhead who abandoned her country and her career to become his wife, feels alone. In return, Alex has betrayed her time and again, each indiscretion cutting deeper into her soul.
Brigitte’s son, David yearns to be an artist, but Alex’s plans leave no room for such frivolous goals. He grooms a reluctant David to become the heir apparent until a devastating tragedy attracts the attention of another young man. The Sting of the Scorpio is a rich tale of a man at the mercy of his own greed and a woman bound by her need for love.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Free Book Fridays (1)

Welcome!  This is our first Free Book Friday!  

Every Friday we along with a few other sites we will hold a Free Book Giveaway.
All you have to do to win is follow. 
 Ebooks will be in ALL formats so don't worry. 
 If you win we will make sure you get a format you can use.  

We will also be giving away free print books. 
Print books will be new and used.

I will also be adding ARC's which are Advanced Reading Copies. 
So you will get the book before anyone else. 

Review: Knee Deep by Jolene B. Perry

Photobucket

Hi guys! Today, June 1, B's Book Blog is happy to host a stop for Jolene B. Perry's Night Sky blog tour!

 
Title: Knee Deep 
Author: Jolene B. Perry
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Tribute Books
Format: eBook
Pages: 278
Source: Tribute Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)
Read from May 27 - 29, 2012
My rating: 3 stars: I like it
Summary: Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long. Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does. Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both. 


This book is very hard for me to review. I've been trying to find the words to say about this book and it seems like I still can't find anything worth saying. I enjoyed the book, and that's about it. I don't really have any opinion on the book, partly because it isn't all that memorable to me. Not the kind of book that makes me sit and think about it after finishing. This one's more like the come-and-go to me. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, and now that I've finished it, I don't really have anything to say about it, I just let it go.

Knee Deep is about Ronnie who finds herself in a love triangle. She's been with her boyfriend Shawn forever, and he's all that she knows. Luke is their mutual best friend, who's sweet and relaxed and comfortable to be around. But lately Shawn hasn't been himself, or his "old self", the guy Ronnie fell in love with years and years ago. Her teases and jokes can make him suddenly rigid and glare at her now these days. Ronnie's tired of having to worry about him and not knowing how to act around him without doing something wrong anymore. She doesn't even know what's wrong. Shawn doesn't tell her anything except that he's stressed and his father's stressed and his family's stressed. Ronnie puts up with everything, even when glaring turns into angry outbursts and into grabbing and bruises, believing that things will get back to how they used to be if she gives him enough time. At the same time, Luke and Ronnie get to spend more time together because they're in a play together. She finds herself feeling something she shouldn't with her best friend.


This isn't the most original plot ever, but "I'm a sucker for stories that involve best friends having a chance at more." (Quoting the author. Yes, me too.) So I wanted to read this and see how it'd go. And yes, I found the same old I-feel-like-I-can-just-be-myself-and-comfortable-around-him, and the why-do-I-feel-this-way-he's-my-best-friend thing. There are a lot of sentences similar to those in the book and at one point, it really got too much. Would it be so hard to just admit that you're in love with your best friend? Instead of saying you don't know why you feel this way, or that he's just Luke? I guess I wasn't really impressed with Ronnie trying so hard to pretend to not acknowledge her feelings.

What surprises me is the abusive part, which I totally didn't expect. She should run, but she doesn't. She doesn't want to rock the boat after being together for so long. I really don't know how to feel about that. Of course, it's stupid, she should leave him, but I also understand that when you're in a relationship for that long, you're afraid to change things, to cause even a little change in how things are, and you want to hold on and believe that it'll be okay soon. Ronnie must feel like that, and we can't really blame her, can we?

I wish I can say this book made an impression on me. It didn't. I enjoyed the moment of reading, but after that this book just became one of the books I'll soon forget about. Some parts of the book bored me, but some were really good. I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked Ronnie and Luke, but I didn't feel connected to them.

While reading, I kept comparing Knee Deep to Sarah Dessen's Dreamland, which is the best book involving abusive relationship that I've read so far, which I seriously loved. The violence in Dreamland is more disturbing and much stronger. It sent chills down my spine. It felt more real and cruel, and that made me so into the story. Knee Deep just falls short in comparison. I think this is one of the reasons this book left me kind of underwhelmed. It's not strong enough.

Well, I told you I don't really have anything to say about this book. Yeah, it's enjoyable. It's a good read, but that's it. Again, I seem to be the minority, as everyone else who's read this book seems to really like it or even love it. I don't know if something's wrong with me, preventing me from liking this book as much as everyone else. I find it okay, mediocre, not something special. It's not for me. Sorry for the honesty. If you're looking for other books by Jolene Perry, I'd suggest Night Sky. I certainly enjoyed it more than this book.


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This review is also posted on Goodreads.
A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. 


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