Chrissy’s Review: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Scrappy Little Nobody
written by Anna Kendrick
published by Touchstone Books, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads


Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did enjoy this book!

I didn’t know much about Ms. Kendrick beyond Twilight and Pitch Perfect–her other films, her stage performances, her Tony nomination–so this book was a great glimpse into her history and life.

If you have ever seen an interview or television appearance of Ms. Kendrick, you will definitely hear her voice throughout this book. I could hear her telling me these stories as I read. I definitely laughed a lot while reading this book.

 

Would I recommend it? Yes! If you are a fan of Ms. Kendrick, then you should definitely read this autobiography!

 

Chrissy


About the book – from Goodreads: 
A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).

 

 

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It’s Raining Books: A Ring of Truth by Michelle Cox (spotlight, giveaway)

 

 

A Ring of Truth (A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel, #2)A Ring of Truth
written by Michelle Cox
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooksBook Depository, TargetGoodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other’s family. Difficult because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant’s ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot. As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are they meant for each other after all?

 

 

 

Michelle CoxAbout the author: Michelle Cox holds a B.A. in English literature from Mundelein College, Chicago, and is the author of the award-winning, A Girl Like You, the first in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series. She is known for her wildly popular blog, “How to Get Your Book Published in 7,000 Easy Steps—A Practical Guide” as well as her charming “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. Michelle lives with her husband and three children in the Chicago suburbs.

Find Ms. Cox here: webblog, FacebookTwitter, Goodreads

 

 

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Winter Reading Challenge: It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany (Chrissy’s review)

 

It Happens All the TimeIt Happens All the Time
written by Amy Hatvany
published by Atria Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy it, as much as you can enjoy a book about this topic. I read it every free chance I had. The story flows, but it does jump around a bit. However, the story moved. I probably could have read it in a day.

What I did I like the most? Hearing both sides of the story. It Happens All The Time is told from two perspectives: Amber’s and Tyler’s. We learn how they met, became friends, moved on, and shared one night that changed their relationship. Each character tells their story in their own voice.

 

Would I recommend it: Sure! But be aware of the subject.

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as “gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times betselling author)—comes a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.

Amy HatvanyAbout the author: Amy Hatvany was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on writing books.

The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under “Yurk.”)

Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)

Find Ms. Hatvany here: web, FacebookTwitter, Goodreads

 

 

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Chrissy’s Review: The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

The HousekeeperThe Housekeeper
written by Suellen Dainty
published by Atria Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
It is a well-written story with a bit of a twist at the end. But . . . I had to make myself finish it.

The back of the book says this is a “nuanced and nail-biting psychological thriller,” but I just didn’t get that at all. My nails are intact, and I wasn’t that shocked or gripped or thrilled by the story. I was expecting a book that was going to grab me, hold on to me, and not let me go until the very end. This book barely held on to me. I kept hoping for something exciting, some kind of major revelation, some unforeseen event to occur. It just didn’t deliver.

The characters weren’t worth rooting for either. Anne made no sense to me at all. I just didn’t understand why she left her career as a chef (I understand why she left her current job at the beginning of the book) to become a housekeeper. While she was working, I did understand her peace with it, the methodical aspect, and the family that she so desperately wanted to have. But I just couldn’t get on her side with it. I wanted her to show her ex-boyfriend that she could make it without him, be stronger. With regards to the whole family issue, I understand where she was with that. I really do. BUT . . . I wanted something more to come out of it. And the other characters just aren’t worth mentioning. They weren’t nice. They weren’t supportive. They weren’t who they thought they were or who the public thought they were. They had secrets, but they weren’t that surprising.

I felt let down after I finally finished this book.

 

Would I recommend it: Probably not.

Chrissy

 

About the book – from Goodreads: “[The Housekeeper] will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.” —Buzzfeed

“I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.”

When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.

Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.

For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced and psychological drama about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.

 

 

 

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Chrissy’s Review: Mixing It Up by Tracie Banister

Mixing It Up
written by Tracie Banister
published by Tracie Banister, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I have really enjoyed Ms. Banister’s books, so I was really excited to read Mixing It Up. It was a fun read!

Cecily Sinclair is a successful TV chef and is entering a new phase of her career . . . with a co-star, the insufferable yet dashing Italian chef Dante Marchetti. These two have amazing on-camera chemistry. And let’s not forget the station’s new CEO, Devlin Hayes. He’s handsome, smart, and willing to take some risks.

The food is well researched. Ms. Banister describes the meals and dishes with great detail. You will definitely be hungry while reading this book. I know I was! The relationships are all different and interesting. I love the two male leads, but I think my favorite relationship was between Cecily and her cousin, Dina. They have a great relationship–one that is more like sisters than cousins. They are so different from one another but so close to each other.

This book is definitely filled with some heat, some good food, and some great romance!

 

Would I recommend it: Sure! But definitely read her other books, too! =) (You can check out my reviews here: In Need of Therapy and Twin Piques.)

 

Chrissy


About the book – from Goodreads: 
Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sauté pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

 

 

About the author: An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

Find Ms. Banister here: blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, Newsletter – The Banister Buzz

 

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – March 28, 2017

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Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance BooksIf These Books Could Talk, and Between My Lines.

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

 
Boost It Poster

 

We will be featuring one blogger or author on the Boost It Tuesday post. We hope that you will visit that blogger or author and give their page a bit of extra BIT attention!

 

If you would like to be featured one week, please fill out the form below.

Click Here to Sign Up to Be a Featured Booster!

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 



If These Books Could Talk,

 

    if these books could talk   Between My Lines
 

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Gina’s Review: The Nix by Nathan Hill

The NixThe Nix 
written by Nathan Hill
published by Knopf, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
This book is an EXPERIENCE. It’s a slow start, but as it progresses it gets better and better. There are a lot of details you have to keep straight, and the cast of characters is a mix of ones you’ll love and ones you won’t. There’s some mystery, and as you uncover more and more of the story, you’ll be excited to piece it together. You’ll get a look into the world of a protesting hippie–it isn’t always pretty, but it feels real. The way Nathan Hill mirrors some of today’s political climate with that of years ago is eerie. It’s truly an awesome book, although it is over six hundred pages, so prepare yourself for a long read.

GOLDEN LINE

“Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in our own story that we don’t see how we’re supporting characters in someone else’s.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: Yes! This is definitely a book I think everyone should try and read.

 

Gina

About the book – from Goodreads: It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson—college professor, stalled writer—has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paint Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront not only Faye’s losses but also his own lost love and will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother and himself.

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – March 14, 2017

BIT banner

Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance BooksIf These Books Could Talk, and Between My Lines.

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

 
Boost It Poster

 

We will be featuring one blogger or author on the Boost It Tuesday post. We hope that you will visit that blogger or author and give their page a bit of extra BIT attention!

 
 

If you would like to be featured one week, please fill out the form below.

Click Here to Sign Up to Be a Featured Booster!

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 



If These Books Could Talk,

 

    if these books could talk   Between My Lines
 

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Jaclyn’s Review: What’s Left of Us by Amanda Maxlyn

What's Left of Us (What's Left of Me, #2)What’s Left of Us
written by Amanda Maxlyn
published by Amanda Maxlyn, LLC, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: Yes! This one was another good read! I like the idea of following up on characters after the end of a story I enjoy, so I’m a big fan of sequels. This one definitely delivered. This book kept things (mostly) light and happy, with enough drama to keep the story moving forward. It became a little predictable–around the middle of the book, you could tell how it was going to end. This book is also just as steamy as the first book–whew!

You can read my review of the first book, What’s Left of Me, here.

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely. This was a quick and easy read. Like the first book, this leaves you feeling connected to the characters and happy at the end. Sometimes it’s nice to read a book that doesn’t make you think too hard and just lets you happily escape into someone else’s world–this is that book.

 

jaclyn

 

About the book – from Goodreads:

The heartwarming conclusion to What’s Left of Me.

Love found me three years ago.

I’m cancer free, happily married to the love of my life, and working toward my dream career.

Our life is complete. Perfect, really.

Or is it?

I’ve always wanted a family of my own, but never dreamed I could have one. Now Parker’s ready to make my dream our reality.

But sometimes our dreams are haunted by our deepest fears. Fears of failure, having a child, and in our case … death. How do I help the person I love get over his fear when I’m still trying to overcome that same fear myself?

Together we must learn What’s Left of Us.

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: The Next by Stephanie Gangi

The Next 
written by Stephanie Gangi
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
This one is tough. I love the plot of this book–I love the idea of it. The first 1/3 of this book was written SO WELL. This book frequently switches voices/perspectives, so you’ll see the same scene played out through the eyes of different characters. I love this approach to writing. This was especially great at the beginning of this book, since Joanna is dying of cancer and doesn’t speak–you get her inner monologue as well as the external view of the situation from her daughters.

 Unfortunately, the writing really dragged down the plot of the story for the rest of the book. Once Joanna dies, you get her perspective as a ghost (not a spoiler, since this book is described as a “ghost story”). The writer spends so much time describing mundane details and, essentially, whining through Joanna’s voice–the book just gets difficult to read. The plot is still good, and I think it was a good decision to keep part of it told through Joanna’s voice–it just wasn’t executed well.

 

All in all, this book was OK. I wanted to like it more than I did.

 

Would I recommend it: I struggled with this, but I would not recommend this book. I would return to this book night after night, but not to find out what happens next–only to get to the end.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: Is there a right way to die? If so, Joanna DeAngelis has it all wrong. She’s consumed by betrayal, spending her numbered days obsessing over Ned McGowan, her much younger ex, and watching him thrive in the spotlight with someone new, while she wastes away. She’s every woman scorned, fantasizing about revenge … except she’s out of time.

Joanna falls from her life, from the love of her daughters and devoted dog, into an otherworldly landscape, a bleak infinity she can’t escape until she rises up and returns and sets it right―makes Ned pay―so she can truly move on.

From the other side into right this minute, Jo embarks on a sexy, spiritual odyssey. As she travels beyond memory, beyond desire, she is transformed into a fierce female force of life, determined to know how to die, happily ever after.

 

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