BOOK REVIEW: Chasing Rainbows - Kathleen Long

GENRE: Adult – Fiction
FORM: eBook

Book 2 of the 2012 eBook Challenge

SYNOPSIS: “Hard times” is minor in comparison to what Bernadette is going through. Her husband has left her for another woman; another life. Her father just died unexpectedly. And if that isn’t bad enough, her dog got kicked out of obedience school….again. The death of her father and her husband leaving has also brought on an onslaught of memories from five years prior, when her one and only child, Emma, died of a heart defect at 5 days old. Despite wanting to wallow in a pool of chocolate and self pity, Bernie knows she has to press forward and move on with her life the best she can.

Outside of having a hard time not thinking “am I going to have to change my name to Bernice Matice,” (line from Hope Floats movie) every time I read the main character’s name, even though it was Bernadette and NOT Bernice…, I found Chasing Rainbows to be a beautiful and uplifting book about life and getting through it’s hard times. Now that I think about it, Hope Floats was very similar to this book in many ways, and now I’m wondering about the inspiration for the book itself…anyhow.

Bernadette is having her fair share of hard times, more than most of us could handle at one time. Often while reading when I felt like I might cry because of Bernie’s pain and emotional suffering, and there were times when I was laughing at her antics. She truly was a women on the edge of rational thinking. Her life seemed to be crumbling down around her, but she had a wall of support build up around her in form of her best friend, Denise, her mother and two of her neighbors, all of whom had words of help and wisdom but also demonstrated to Bernice that she was not the only one with hard times and pain in their life. At times even her soon-to-be ex-husband brought words of wisdom that ultimately played into Bernice’s healing process.

I will say, there were moments I thought the Bernie was a bit over the top – especially when she jumped the counter at a cosmetic station in the mall, but it was this over-the-topness that brought most of the entertainment of the book. For an ebook that I got free at Amazon.com, I was very impressed with this read. It was heartfelt, funny, sad and contained just enough courage and hope to make you believe in second chances at life.

(In addition to “Bernice Matice,” I found myself continually singing, “don’t go chasing waterfalls…” while reading, which is also completely and utterly unrelated...but I guess "chasing rainbows" was close enough for my mind. And NOW I’ve probably sufficiently gotten it stuck in your head…you’re welcome! =) )


BOOK REVIEW: The Boyfriend Thief

GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, Romance
FORM: eBook

Book 1 of the 2012 eBook Challenge

SYNOPSIS: Avery James has a lot of ambition and drive. She is determined to raise enough money to be able to go to Costa Rica to volunteer with doctors and humanitarian workers; which would give her a notch on her college applications as well as possibly put her a step closer to her runaway mother. However, money is not coming in very easily, and she will be offered no help from her father. That is until her ex-best-friend-now-arch-nemesis, Heather, offers her a deal; the rest of the money for Costa Rica in exchange for stealing her boyfriend.

REVIEW: I have to admit, I almost didn’t finish reading The Boyfriend Thief. After the plot of the book was quickly known and the character’s personalities revealed, I wasn’t sure I could put up with Avery’s attitude for the duration of the book. Avery has been extremely bitter about relationships ever since her mother up and left her, her father, and brother, and soon after she lost her two best friends in a moment of stupidity. She is controlling, bitter, and at times mean and very judgmental.  When called out on her behavior she is hurt and offended. She is as selfish of a character as they come. So you can understand my hesitancy to read an entire book of, “my mom was a miserable creep, so watch me put up unrealistic walls, and attempt control everyone’s life.” Even in her chapter of redemption, I felt like it all came much too quickly and easily for her. While the character in the book showed remorse and understanding – the storyline didn’t really help me to believe it.

The person who made the book worth the read was Zac. He was sweet and innocent, quirky and smart too. I enjoyed the chemistry between him and Avery. I loved his words of wisdom, especially since was supposed to be a lazy goof up. He was cute and funny and had a way of making Avery open up and talk in a way that no one else could. He was the best part of the entire book.

The Boyfriend Thief was a quick easy read. I may have reviewed it harshly, but for a nice Young Adult read – it does the trick in a pinch. Especially for the ebook price!


BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey

Title: Beauty and the Werewolf
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Five Hundred Kingdoms #6
Form:  book

Review:  First off let me say I love Mercedes Lackey. I’ve read almost all of her Elemental Masters series. I believe the Fire Rose was my first Mercedes Lackey book. It’s also a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I have to say I like The Fire Rose better than Beauty and the Werewolf, but this isn’t a review about that book so let me get back on track and talk about Beauty and the Werewolf.
It’s the sixth book in The Five Hundred Kingdoms series. I would say each book could be a stand-alone but I recommend reading them in order starting with The Fairy Godmother, just so that you can get a better understanding of The Tradition. Also the main character of that book makes an appearance in all the following books. (My favorite is One Good Knight). OK back to Beauty and the Werewolf. I liked it. It was a good retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

I really loved the invisible servants, they reminded me of all the household items that came to life in the Disney movie. I liked their relationship with Bella and their resolution and the end of the book.
Speaking of Bella, I liked her. I read some reviews that said she was manipulative and bossy, yes she was, BUT there is character growth. I liked her because she had a mind of her own. She wasn’t demure, she wasn’t too innocent. She knew what she wanted and went for it. She knew what she needed to do and did it. She was determined to make more of herself than other women of that time period.Traditionally, she played a big part in helping to break the curse on him, but it wasn’t through a traditional kiss.
The him that I speak of is Sebastian. I’m not sure how I feel about him. I don’t think his character was developed enough. I would have liked to see more growth in him and more about his relationship with Bella. He’s a good character but not a very deep one. 

Now Eric on the other hand. I didn’t like his character then I liked his character, then I didn’t like his character, then I liked.. well you get the idea. He kept things interesting. I think his relationship with Bella is a little bit more developed than hers with Sebastian, which is interesting considering the ending of the book.
I’ll admit, I’m getting sick of the love triangle that seems to have started with Twilight, but I wouldn’t say that is in this book. Sebastian is the Beast and Eric is a representation of Gaston, not a close one, but enough of one that I don’t think Bella, Eric, and Sebastian could be considered to be in a love triangle.
The ending of the book was not as big of a surprise as I would of liked, but it was a good one and it wasn’t too typical. Another review I read said the reader had figured out everything early on in the book. I personally was kept guessing. I thought I had it figured out, then I kept changing my mind. Lackey definitely kept me guessing throughout the book which kept me reading.

It’s not a heavy read. There’s not a lot of emotion and depth, but for a fun little retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I think Lackey did a good job.