Friday, June 27, 2014

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: Review

Author: Bernie Su, Kate Rorick
ISBN: 1476763143
Book Genre: New Adult/ Romance/ Contemporary
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Touchstone
Book Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:
Based on the Emmy Award-winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Twenty-four-year-old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters-beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.
When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck-up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets--and for Lizzie;s viewers. But not everything happens on-screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie's world and well beyond the confines of her camera--from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter's bar, and much more. Lizzie's private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents'; unstable financial situation, her sister's budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future--and whom she wants to share it with.
Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before.


I'm a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and that includes the Keira Knightley movie interpretation. So when I found out there was a web-series modern version of it on youtube, I just had to check it out. And I wasn't disappointed. I found the whole set up absolutely inspired, and the way they dove into the story was completely ingenious. I think I watched the entire thing at least five times. Needless to say, when I heard there was going to be a book based on the web series, I was more than psyched, I was absolutely ecstatic. 

Due to the fact that the writers of the book being the same creators of the web series, I wasn't disappointed in the fact that Lizzie's voice was perfectly translated in book form, and she was just as hilarious, quirky, and witty as seen on camera.

Curious as to how my mother would make a 24-year-old who has been dressing herself for technically decades wear a certain article of clothing? Then you don't know my mother. Or her underhanded nature. I'd managed to keep the shirt buried in a drawer since Christmas, but then there was a hostile laundry takeover. That's all I'll say.
I especially love that her mother's tendency to the melodramatic was more evident in the book than on camera, and I have to admit it made me laugh a lot.

Our longtime friend Ellen pledged to love, honor, and cover her new husband on her work's health insurance plan for as long as they both shall live, while Ellen's mother sniffled her way through the ceremony - her sniffles only slightly softer than my mother's wails (Note: Ellen Gibson was in the same class as Jane since first grade; her mother and ours cut up orange slices for soccer practice together. Mom can barely hold her head up in front of Mrs. Gibson now, as her daughters remain tragically unwed.)
The issue with writing this review is the fact that I'd already watched the web series, so the modernized concept of the story wasn't as new to me and easy to portray with excitement now over the book, because I knew everything beforehand and wasn't surprised. But if I'm to talk about this book to someone who hasn't even heard of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, then I would love to say first of all where in God's name have you been living man? That web series is one of the most epic and creative things in creation over a classic that was portrayed with such a beautiful twist whilst staying as true to the story as possible without bordering on the unrealistic. And second of all, due to the huge difference in the time setting with both stories, there were changes that were made, but I can safely say they're changes one can definitely live with and come to love.

I don't want to dive into the actual story because I may accidentally spoil things from either this book or the original classic, so I won't explain the differences I mentioned or the innovative ways particular characters, events, and backgrounds were implemented into the story. What I will say though, is that it's probably best to read the book whilst watching the web series at the same time, because one thing that didn't sit well with me was the fact that a few explanations in the book didn't give the reader enough closure or well explain the particular event because it was in the video, so it was rushed through in the book. So if you happen to be reading this book without having ever watched the videos, you might get confused on more than one occasion or frustrated by the lack of elaboration towards specific parts. It didn't necessarily cause me that much trouble because I had in fact watched the series and understood everything perfectly, so yes, I recommend you watch the episodes in chronological order according to the diary entries with say watching Monday episodes after Sunday diary entries, or Thursday episodes right after Wednesday entries… it would definitely give a well rounded picture.

The thing with this series is, I think it works so much better as a whole in the way it was introduced - adding to that this book. There were the tweets I'd read after specific events as well as photos shared on tumblr, twitter and pinterest that correlate with the story, and I think this is absolutely perfect in making the story much more realistic. The book is just another element to missing parts we never got to see. I was actually very excited whilst reading the book because so many things Lizzie hadn't shared on camera were explained in writing, which is why I think this book is a perfect addition to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries 'experience' because believe me, it's like you're living in the story, not just reading it or watching it, that in turn makes it very incredible, and certainly memorable.

Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: London Falling

Author: Chanel Cleeton
Book Genre: New Adult
Release Date: July 7th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Book Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:
We weren't a relationship, we were a ticking time bomb... 
Maggie Carpenter walked away from the hottest encounter of her life when she left the seductive glitz of England for summer break in her South Carolina hometown. Now that she’s returned to the International School in London—and sexy, privileged Samir Khouri is once again close enough to touch—she can’t help but remember the attraction, the drama … the heartbreak.
She can’t help but want him even more.
Samir can’t afford to fall for someone so far removed from his world, not when his time in London is running out. It's his senior year—his last chance at freedom before he returns home to Lebanon. There, he’ll be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps—not follow his heart to Maggie. But when a scorching secret hookup becomes a temptation neither can resist, they’ll both have to fight to survive the consequences … and find a future together.


I remember seriously enjoying I See London but hating that I had to wait to know what happens the rest of the story. I don't usually enjoy contemporary novels that continue on with the same story in a series, but for some reason I definitely enjoyed this particular series.

The book starts off in Maggie's sophomore year of college where she expects to come back to an equally enamored Samir, only to find out he'd never really broken up with his girlfriend, and had no intention of doing so. Things between them are maddening because neither can forget the night they spent together or pretend the sizzling attraction wasn't there. As much as they try to go back to being friends, it isn't working and they need to come up with a suitable solution to their impasse.

I seriously appreciate stories with characters so well developed and ridiculously flawed. They're both forever broken with horrible home lives, and you get to be there along the way to see them struggle with their insecurities, their fears, and their hopes and dreams for life. In this particular book you get to see more from Samir's perspective, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Like I said in book one, I love the racial diversity, the different backgrounds for all the characters and the stories behind the stories. There's more traveling where you get to see more of the home lives from both Maggie and Samir's point of views, you get a road trip to Lebanon which I think is a large part of why I loved this story, I loved how Samir was so proud and in love with both his heritage and the country he called home. He may have many faults, but this is certainly something to love about him. This year at school is going to be a lot more difficult than either Samir or Maggie planned. It's also going to be ridiculously sweet, hot and tempting

I was full on hooked from start to end with this book and hate that this world is over with. I am probably going to snag my copy the second this comes out and just read this series a couple of times before I have it out of my system.

Rating: 5/5!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: Review: Perfect Kind of Trouble

Author: Chelsea Fine
ISBN: 1455583146 
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Book Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . . 

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be . . .
Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them . . . was each other.


Chelsea fine has this incredible talent in which she manages to make you both cry and laugh at the same time. Seriously, I thought it was a fluke with Best Kind of Broken, but now with this one as well? yeah, she is pretty much magic.

I was actually pretty impatient to see what happened in the next installment - ie this book - whilst reading this book, since not only did Chelsea bring back characters and shared their stories, but she had them so intertwined with the other stories in which she gives you a minor taste, although in my opinion it's just a delicious teaser on what's yet to come, and you're hooked for what's coming next before even being done with the current story you're reading. I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty incredible.

The story is about Kayla who comes home for her father's funeral only she's not the least bit happy about it because her father had been neglecting her for the past five years. Daren thinks his pseudofather wants to return to him a box of baseball cards he stole from him years ago, so he comes to the man's reading of the will. Both Kayla and Daren are sure they've pegged the other person correctly: rich, entitled, and ridiculously hot. They're both not happy to find out that James Turner had left them a bunch of money, only neither of them gets it unless they follow his treasure hunt trail... handcuffed to one another.

I honestly thought this book would be humorous because let's face it the handcuffed treasure hunt can't be anything but, however, I didn't expect it to hold a candle to the first book, because that book pretty much wrecked me from how incredible it was. I was wrong and I'm happy to announce that, this book delivered and was so heartbreaking I was practically in tears the majority of the story. 

I can't stress this enough with my reviews but, a well rounded and well developed character gains a bunch of points in my book. And the depth found in both Kayla and party boy man-whore Daren is unbelievable. I felt for both of them - although more for Kayla really, because let's face it, she had it rough. But also for Daren, there's so much more than meets the eye with both characters, so much to who they are, who they aspire to be, what was taken from them, their backgrounds, their histories, their pain and loss, all of it together right there makes it difficult for the reader to remain impartial and be anything but sympathetic.

I absolutely fell in love with the characters, the story, the setting, the circumstances and definitely foresee myself getting my own copy of this book and reading it repeatedly.

And to top it all off in her clear-to-me-now signature pattern, Chelsea gave a tiny snippet of her next story amidst this one, and now I'm probably going to be impatient as hell until I get my hand on Jack and Jenna's story. 

I hope you guys get a chance to love this book as much as I do. P.S: just keep the tissues nearby okay?

Here's a snippet from my favourite part:

Rating: 5/5!


“So this is where you work?” She gestures at the closed kitchen door behind me as she approaches.
I step back so she can enter the courtyard then glance over my shoulder. “It’s more like the place where I help out in the kitchen, occasionally,” I say. “I like to cook so sometimes the owner, Jake, let’s me jump on the line.”
She tilts her head. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as the cooking type.”
“No?” I arch a brow. “What type am I?”
“Well the professional lover type, obviously.”
I grin. “That too.”
The teasing in her eyes along with the lightness of her smile does something soft to my insides. This is a different Kayla than the one I was sitting next to at the bar. That girl was stressed and burdened, but this girl… this girl is hopeful and happy.
The only reason I can think of for the change in her tone is the inheritance. Does the idea of getting money please her so much that she’s suddenly this cheerful person? Does it please me that much?
I remember Jake’s comment earlier, about my being happy, and realize with a sinking feeling that yes, the idea of an inheritance has made me happy. Money would alleviate some of my problems and, therefore, it gives me a security in my future that pleases me.
I’m not sure how I feel about money having so much control over my contentment. It makes me sound an awful lot like my dad.
“So what is this place?” she asks, nodding to the courtyard around us.
I look up at the small twinkle lights strung above the area. “Right now it’s just storage space. But Jake wants to make it into a dining patio. You know, so people can rent it out for private parties or whatever.”
“It’s cute.” She walks around, checking out the rose bushes that line the fence and the Tuscany-inspired mural painted against the back wall.
“So where you off to?” I step closer so we’re both beside the painted wall. “Back to your humble abode at the Quickie Stop?”
She scoffs. “Humble indeed. But yeah.”
I glance at the dark parking lot beyond the fence and the even darker streets that lead to the edge of town, and frown. “By yourself?”
She faces me with a cocked eyebrow. “Yeah. I’ve got my own driver’s license and everything.”
I smile at the ground. “Okay, that’s fair.” I glance at the dark streets again. “I’m just a concerned citizen that wanted to make sure you got home safely. That’s all.”
She nods. “How very kind of you, citizen. Would you rather I be going back to the Quickie Stop with someone?”
The idea of Kayla going home with someone—anyone, other than me—rakes down my spine like nails on a chalkboard. I don’t know when I got so possessive of this girl but holy hell. My veins are on fire.
How very unexpected. And somewhat annoying.
I don’t get possessive of women. Ever. Sure, I care about Amber and Pixie but that’s different. I care about them like sisters. I’m protective of them. I couldn’t really give a damn who they, or any other female in this town, go to bed with.
But Kayla?
Hot jealousy darts through my veins.
How very annoyingly unexpected.
I set my shoulders back in a casual manner. “Not particularly,” I say coolly. “I just wasn’t sure if you had a ride or not.”
“Oh.” She runs a finger over her lips. “And what, you were going to offer me a ride?”
I watch the tip of her finger skim over the pink fullness of her bottom lip and my breath hitches. She can’t say things like “give me a ride” and touch her mouth at the same time. That’s just not fair.
“Well I might have offered you a ride,” I say, inwardly cursing as I remember sweet, precious Monique, “except I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to take rides from strangers. And since that’s what you and I are…” I sigh dramatically. “It would have just been a waste of time to ask you.”
She smiles behind her moving fingers and I start to wonder if she’d let me kiss her. My guess is, yes. Maybe.
I want to kiss Kayla. Badly. But the idea of kissing her, of touching her at all, also makes me a little nervous. And I’m never nervous when it comes to women.
Goddammit. Everything about this girl is unexpected.
“You’re so obsessed with us not being strangers,” she says, and her eyes shine. “That can’t be healthy.”
I probably shouldn’t kiss her. We have an inheritance to claim tomorrow. We have shit to follow through with. Kissing her is a bad idea. A very bad idea.
“No. Probably not.” I step closer so we’re only inches apart. “But I can’t seem to let it go.”
She doesn’t move away. She doesn’t break eye contact.
Yes. She’d definitely let me kiss her. I’m sure of it.
My heart pounds and it’s all I can do to keep my nonchalant demeanor in place.
“Is that what we are, Kayla?” I lower my voice with a crooked grin. “Strangers?”
She meets my crooked grin and raises me a tipped chin. Her eyes are steel and sure, not giving anything away, and I suddenly feel unsure.
I lean in.
She doesn’t react. But she also doesn’t back away.
Kissing her is a bad idea.

Her lips part, ever so slightly, a thin seam of wet flesh forming between the soft skin of her pretty lips, and all my reservations vanish.

Join the blog tour giveaway!

About the Author:

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She's ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen. 

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: The Rules for Breaking

Author: Ashley Elston
ISBN: 1423168984
Book Genre: YA Mystery/ Contemporary
Release Date: May 20th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Book Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:

Anna Boyd almost lost her life to get what she wanted most in the world: freedom.
But just when it seems that her family has finally escaped Witness Protection, the illusion that Anna could resume a normal life comes crashing down.
The deadly man Anna knows as Thomas is still on the loose, and now he's using her as a pawn in a dangerous game with the drug cartel determined to silence her forever. When Thomas and a mysterious masked man capture not only Anna but also her fragile younger sister and her boyfriend, Anna decides it's time to break all the rules-even if it means teaming up with the lesser of two evils.
Anna will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves and win her life back once and for all. But her true enemies are hidden in plain sight. Before long, Anna will learn that putting her trust in anyone may be the last mistake she ever makes.


I had many reservations about reading this sequel because I'm always terrified of sequels of contemporary or mystery stories. Most of them don't hold up to the first book in the series, or things happen that you wish didn't or a whole mess of things could just bring it down. Once I finally decided to get around to reading this book, I realized my reservations were unfounded and this book was just as good - if not better - than book one.

If you don't know much about The Rules for Disappearing, I really suggest you don't go on reading here because there will be spoilers. This story takes off after book one ended, Anna is worried about the journal Thomas returned to her and the note that he may be coming back in her life. She's scared and angry and is trying to learn how to defend herself, which makes Ethan suspicious there is something going on. Things go out of control once everyone finds out about the journal and Ethan, Teeny and Anna all end up abducted and part of a power struggle game they really shouldn't have been involved in. 

I can't possibly emphasize on how amazing this sequel was and how incredibly well written. It's so action-packed, full of surprises and smart survival techniques. Anna's journey in the witness protection program has clearly changed both her and her sister Teeny and they're more well equipped dealing with the traumatizing new situation they were thrust in when they aren't sure if they'll actually make it out of there alive. They are so much stronger  you can practically see the personal growth and depth they had undergone and I quite enjoyed it.They don't know who to trust and who they can accidentally drag down into danger with them. It's all so incredibly well thought out, it was definitely impressive just devouring this book in hopes of understanding what the hell's going on.

In case you're wondering what mysteries lie in this book: There's a mole in the agency no one knows who. Thomas has a masked accomplice Anna knows but can't place. There's an assassin after her and Ethan that may or may not be more dangerous than Thomas who she shouldn't by any means trust even though he's presumably protecting her…ish. Anna has no idea what the full plan is and why or how she got in the middle of this power struggle. Why send her the journal? Why kidnap her, Ethan and Teeny? Will she make it out alive? How bad would it be to call her parents? The cops? The agency?

There's so much at stake here and the entire book is so well crafted I was in awe. I'm not a big fan of sequels with mystery and contemporary novels, but I was very impressed by this one. Ashley Elston is absolutely incredible and I can't wait to read more books by her in the foreseeable future.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 2014 TBR Pile

So it's been a while since I last shared anything about my reading progress aside from various reviews, which is why I decided to share with you guys the books I'm hoping to read this month. The thing is, I have an insanely large review pile, and I'm going to be working ridiculously hard this June into limiting it down to a reasonable amount in order to read many of the books I have been buying for fun for the past few months.

Now here go the priority books:

The Murder Complex - Lindsay Cummings
The Rules for Breaking - Ashley Elston
Vivian Divine is Dead - Lauren Sabel

The Stepsister's Tale - Tracy Barrett
Perfect Kind of Trouble - Chelsea Fine

Rush & Push - Eve Silver

As for potential books that are on the 'maybe' pile, I'm still not sure of:

Breaking the Drought - Lisa Ireland
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet - Bernie Su & Kate Rorick
The Sexiest Man Alive - Juliet Rosetti

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

This should be my TBR for this month, I am hoping to have an update post halfway through the month with maybe a weekly Friday Reads video or post on this blog to keep you guys in the loop. Hopefully I'd have more reviews up here as well as on my channel and will let you know if I add more to my TBR this month.

What are you planning to read this June?

Happy Reading!