Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Crushed by Lauren Layne

Crushed by Lauren Layne is a book about two people who thought they knew what they wanted until they actually got it. Michael St. Claire grew up in New York but sets out to Cedar Grove, Texas to escape his life and find out more about his real father and the family that never knew about him. Chloe Bellamy has lived in the shadow of her pretty sister, Kristen, her whole life.

Chloe Bellamy has been in love with Devon Patterson for years but has resigned herself to just be his friend while Kristen has what she wants. Michael's plan was to use pretty, refined Kristen to meddle with his half brothers life. Michael decides to use Chloe's crush on Kristen's boyfriend to strike a deal with the curvy quirky Bellamy sister.

Chloe has always felt like the ugly one next to her picture perfect sister. Chloe would never do anything to break up her sisters relationship but she can't help but think that Devon is with the wrong girl. Michael is bringing some major baggage from New York and thinks that stirring up trouble will make the chaos in his life calm down. The book starts out with Michael and Chloe bickering before deciding to strike a deal to get Chloe in better health in order to show Devon what he's missing.

This story is really a tale of 'the grass is always greener on the other side'. Ladies with straight hair prefer curly and ladies with natural curls use straighteners. We always think we want what we can't really have. Chloe started out as Devon's best friend and thought herself in love with him before he became popular and started dating her sister Kristen. She has had to watch what she wanted being flaunted in her face for years while eating her feelings and hiding behind sarcasm. Along came Michael who guessed her dilemma immediately and, for his own selfish reasons, decides to help her get fit while showing Devon what he's missing. Michael doesn't really know what he wants but seems drawn to this curvy sarcastic girl with the mess of curls.

I really really enjoyed this book! Chloe is beyond funny and I love that she just pokes at Michael or Beefcake as she calls him. Who would have known that the Star Spangled Banner would be used like that? I just about fell over laughing at that whole thing. I thought Michael was definitely a smidgen broody but then again after his history is fully explained I understood him a little more and forgave his bi-polar self. The reunion at Micheal's place was a little bit crazy but a whole bunch perfect. I laughed a lot while reading this book and that's ALWAYS a good thing! I can't say that I was a big Kristen fan but then again I have to recognize that not every person can have depth, some people are just shallow like a puddle. I wasn't a huge fan of the way Chloe saw Devon in the beginning but then again that's how first crushes go. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wanted a sweet fun read with minimal drama. I totally would be down with a sequel.

This ARC was kindly provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Growing Up Book For Boys by David Hartman

The Growing Up Book For Boys by David Hartman explains all of the fun of puberty for boys on the Autism Spectrum. Puberty for young men is difficult to navigate on it's own but when you add in the unique characteristics of being on the spectrum there are plenty of things that need to be explained. David Hartman explains the ins and outs of this trying time in a very straightforward manner using direct language and visual tools.

I requested this book because my 8 (soon to be 9) year old son is on the Spectrum and this will soon be something I have to deal with. I found that this book was definitely up front with the details and didn't really hold anything back at all. I was at first a little taken aback at the frank manner of the book but as I kept reading I began to realize that it's needed to clearly paint the picture for our special kids. I'm still going through parts of the book and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I really appreciate this book and the fact that I'm now going to be able to really address this issue with my son instead of trying to navigate it in the dark.

This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Beautiful Broken Promises by Kimberly Lauren

Beautiful Broken Promises was about Lane Parker and the secret he has been keeping for far too long from his closest friends. It's been four years since Lane has felt whole again and now this is his journey to getting his life back. 

This book starts out with the loveable man-whore Lane we knew from Beautiful Broken Mess but quickly delves into pieces of himself that he hasn't really shared with anyone. Lane has been doing everything he can to find his long lost Kate when he finally finds her. Raegan was once upon a time a nanny for Lane and his wife when tragedy struck. Raegan has spent the last four years trying to survive and keep two children with as normal of a childhood as possible. When re-united Raegan and Lane have a lot to learn about themselves and life together. 

I loved to see the gang again and how everyone fit. Raegan just came across as a great mother because although she had been beaten down by life and rose to the occasion when her children needed her. There were a few twists and turns I didn't expect and that just kept me hooked. I loved this whole series and wish there was more!

This book was provided to me by my local Library!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Improve Your Memory by Robert Allen

Improving your memory can help you in your everyday life and is extremely important to everyone. Your brain is a muscle and you need to exercise it. With this book you CAN improve your memory.

I know that was a super short intro but it pretty much summed up this awesome book. Even from the start I appreciated that the book didn't talk 'down' to me but rather approached this topic as an equal. There was also a lot of good advice on things that I wouldn't normally think had anything to do with your memory but really (when I actually think about it) would effect your entire life so duh that would include your memory.

Taking the tests included in this book was both interesting and frustrating because I need work on my memory (hence my desire to read this book lol). I do have to say that I did better on them than I thought I would so I guess that's something right? I really liked the metaphor of memory being like glue and then going through the different "strengths" of glues. Throughout the book there were some cute quotes sprinkled in and I enjoyed them. I also really liked that the author fully admitted that some of the techniques were just plain wacky but that is what made them work! In the back of this there are plenty of memory tests and I liked the variety and content. I also really liked that this author didn't go into a bunch of medical stuff about your brain and memory it was more of a peer talking to you.

There was one example used in the first part of the book that I didn't appreciate at all. The author mentioned how the Army uses rituals to teach "a youngster who has little formal education (and may not be too bright) to strip down a complicated device.." and I really think this could have been worded differently to try not coming off like recruits are all stupid young kids. There are plenty of veterans in my family (young and old) and I just found the example left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm sure it wasn't really meant to be rude but it bothered me none the less.

Overall I liked the book and found it very easy to read and hopefully it will help me with my long and short term memory!

I got the opportunity to read this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fix You by Beck Anderson

Fix you by Beck Anderson brings us a story about a widow, Kelly, who is trying her best to raise her two sons after losing her husband. Kelly quite literally runs into Andrew one morning and it instantly changes her life. One would think that Andy Pettigrew has it all with his movie star status but really he is heading towards a dark path when he meets Kelly. Andy pursues Kelly even though she has reservations about disrupting her families lives and fitting into his world. Andy has been having trouble coping with his fame and even though his efforts are great even Kelly might not be able to help him. 

I did enjoy this book a great deal. It was a very quick read and I liked the journey the two characters had to go through to find their own happiness. I think that Kelly went into this relationship with equal measures of reluctance and pure blindness. Andrew clearly threw out clear warnings that his world wasn't exactly stable but Kelly ignored it until she couldn't anymore. Andrew needed help for far to long and shame on the people in his life for not trying harder to get him to want it. I don't really like the way Kelly handled after the scene on the beach, even if I understand some of her reasons. Throughout the book Kelly mentions his young age and maturity level compared to hers but I don't think she really was as mature as she touted she was. Overall this was a good book showing that you really need to fix yourself and that although that's your job it can't hurt to have someone else there for support. Life is hard and sooo many things can complicate it but it's all in how you choose to handle it.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Beautiful Broken Mess by Kimberly Lauren

Beautiful Broken Mess shows us the story of Jace and Audrey and the history they share. Jace can't let go of feelings he developed four years ago for a girl that eventually tried to ruin his twin brother's life. Audrey has been handed horrible circumstances her entire life but just refuses to give in. Audrey leaves Texas to go to college in California and crosses path with the only man she has ever really loved. The past that Audrey and Jace share is twisted and trying but love can overcome almost anything...can't it?

This book revisits the Riley twins and brings back a blast from Jaxon Riley's past they would rather leave there...or is that really true? As the saying goes there are always two sides to every story. In Beautiful Broken Mess we get to hear Audrey's and what we find isn't exactly what you would expect. I love the relationship between Audrey and Lane. I also like that the other girls and eventually the Riley twins give Audrey a chance to explain. Her life has been one bad thing after another so the girl really deserves a break. Loved this book and the series in general! 

This book was provided to me by my local Library. Support your Libraries!