Sunday, January 31

Joint Review: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

This month Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "The Girl You Left Behind" by Mojo Moyes.

Author: Jojo Moyes
Title: The Girl You Left Behind
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 544
First Published: September 2012
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.
Almost a century later, and Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down all over again . . .

B: I had not read the blurb so I admit, this was not what I expected, I wanted stuff in the trenches, my bad ;) I was a bit disappointed, but as long the book is good it is good. How about you? Did you want some trench action?

C:  Happy Near First of February. ;) But yes, I did NOT expect anything that happened. I was thinking there would be more historical fiction with maybe a touch of POV from Sophie’s hubby.

B: I was so disappointed when Liv’s story began, I just love historical fiction! Yes Liv’s story turned out to be good, but damn, I wanted Sophie’s.

 C: Ugh I agree. I wanted to read Sophie’s. I totally skimmed the majority of Liv’s story until about halfway when the court trial began, then my interest was piqued again! But I was looking forward to when Sophie’s POV would come back.

 B: Yes, that was the best part and the one that made me angry. But I did hate that Sophie’s story was told through that.Sophie should have had another chapter.

C:  It bugged me too and I feel like it took away from her story. I wish that Liv’s story was a couple chapters long at the very end or something. 

B: What did you think of Sophie’s story then?

C: I liked it a lot! SUPER, SUPER sad. I get the hatred towards the Germans since they have taken over your town and are aholes because it is war, but I don’t get why they treat people who have to act nice to them so they don’t lose their lives or stuff. Like that Lillien character. I felt so bad for both Sophie and the Lillien character...the town people were jerks to them.

B: Such jerks! When that woman said something about how she would not serve them, sorry now, but Sophie and her sister did NOT have a choice. Sorry we wont do that, oh well we will just die all of us instead. That woman would so need a kick in the butt. So yes townspeople are jerks. Poor Lillien, that was a tough one, and then how they turned later on too. Grrrrrrr. Group mob mentality. And yes Sophie’s story was great. The choices they had to make, the tough one too. My heart! And then then it stopped at the good part!!!

C: Such a tough one. :( And it broke my heart I had to wait SO long to wait and see what happened to Sophie and Edouard (her hubby). I’m glad all the lose ends were tied up at  the end, but I hated how it happened. I liked the end, but I didn’t like delivery of the ending - if that makes sense. haha

B: Truthfully, I did not even get the ending. Happy or not happy? Yes happy, but then? I really wanted a Sophie chapter there. I got no closure. Should we move on to Liv then?

 C: Liv...she was okay….at first I didn’t get why she wanted to keep the portrait SO bad she would go to court….but then it made sense. At first I was in opposition and then I found myself being on Liv’s team and rooted for her to custody of the portrait. 

B: I was totally Liv’s team. I hated how the press and strangers treated her. It was NOT Nazi loot, I hated how people dragged in that and then made her SO much worse than she was. yes yes it was still a painting with a shady past, but, srsl, lots of stuff was taken. And most importantly, those jerks should not have the painting. They only wanted to sell it! If anyone should have had the painting it should be Sophie’s family, and I did feel like Liv felt like that too. Like if she had to give it up she would have done just that. I kept waiting for like that grandson, wait son, whatever he was to Aurelien to show up and be all like, back off!

C: I wanted the family to have it, but then family - the WHOLE family - turned out to be NO better than the townfolk, even generations later. Jerks the lot of them. And it was NOT Nazi loot...I HATE how everything relating WWI or WWII is automatically stemmed to Nazis ugh - so annoying. Ugh...Aureliein smh he upset me.

B: He was such a jerk. Ahole, I liked the son better. Speaking of loot. I was at my grandparents once and was all, weird painting. And grandma was all, yes her dad brought it home from the war. Sorry, but my family have loot on their wall. To be fair, it is from our own people when they left everything behind to flee from the land Russia stole.

C: I think everyone who fought in the war has a piece of loot. Both my grandpas have something small too. That is what happens during war on both sides. Ugh, I am still mad and feel so bad for Sophie….for everything she did for everyone. I also kinda felt bad for the little piggie. xD What did you think of the Kommandant? 

B: Conflicted!!!! I like him cos he saw everything and saw between his fingers. So many things, like the piggie. But at the same time, he did bad things too. But but, oh, it is so hard. But then he was just a man. If the French had occupied a German village they would have done everything the same. War is always written from the winner’s POV. War makes everyone assholes. It’s like with WWII fiction and every German is a no. That is like saying that every American is a racist cos there used to be slavery, or there was the Ku Kux clan, or well it’s that with every country.  I have totally lost my train of thought now…

C: I liked him, but then he did bad things. But like you's war...war makes even good men do bad things, but the winner writes history and now the good guy. 

B: Final thoughts? It was good and it made me ANGRY. Made me sad. A good book does bring out emotions so I would say it was a good pick :) Even if I had written it differently, like ditching Liv all together.

C: It was good. I wanted to love it, but I just liked it thanks to Liv’s tale. Best pick in a while though!!! ;D And if I had written it I would have done Sophie’s story and then do a couple chapters at the end of Liv and the battle of the painting just so we can find out what happened to it. 

B: Your turn next then. not pick a story about a village occupied by Germans, it was my 3rd in 6 months. oooops.

C: I’ll also have to not do a PNR since I’ve read three in the last month and a half. xI We’ll find something ;) The end?

B: The end :)

**Carole's Conclusion**
This was okay. Fell a little below my expectations, but it was still okay. I was bummed Sophie didn't seem like the main character, because Liv's story seemed to take over. To simply put it...I liked the story, but I hated how it was formatted and presented. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 3 stars.  

Saturday, January 30

#FitReaders Check-In Weekly Check-in Jan 30, 2016

#FitReaders is hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.

Ugh lost my step tracker. >____> Oh well, so I used an app on my phone. 

So proud of myself! I beat the 5K challenge! I won't be able to do the 10K by the end of the month, but that is okay. I'm so proud of myself :3 Mamyia is also proud of me! ;-D

Sun - Cleaning and 1 mile walk
Mon - 1.50 mile run & 5 min weights/crunches
Tue - 1.50 mile run, 1 mile bike, & 10 mins weights/crunches/sit-ups
Wed - 2 mile run & 30 mins yoga
Thu - 1.50 mile walk
Fri - 1 mile bike, 1.5 mile walk, 10 mins weights/squats/crunches/sit-ups
Sat -  3.16 miles run 

Friday, January 29

Book Review: Of Flame and Promise by Cecy Robson

Author: Cecy Robson
Title: Of Flame and Promise (Weird Girls, #2.4) 
Genre: Paranormal Romance, UF, & Short Story/Novella
Pages: ebook
First Published: January 12th 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Cursed by a spell meant to destroy them, Taran Wird and her sisters instead developed unique magical talents. With the power of fire and lightning literally at her fingertips, Taran doesn’t fear much. Demons, vamps, whatever—bring ’em on! Only one thing terrifies her: commitment.

Taran is crazy about her boyfriend, Gemini, a sexy were with the incredible ability to split into two separate wolves. But after watching her sister go through heartbreak with the pack’s Alpha, Taran knows not to count on happily ever after—despite Gemini’s desire to claim her as his mate. Reluctantly, she agrees to meet his very traditional and conservative parents. Taran’s a badass with a mouth to match, and Gemini loves her for it. She’s just not positive these attributes will please Mom and Dad.

Unsurprisingly, every attempt by Taran to bond with Gemini’s folks proves disastrous. But in the end, Taran finds that winning them over means unleashing her powers . . . and proving that this foul-mouthed fire-starter is a force to be reckoned with.

This novella is in Taran’s POV - a small introduction to the new Wird sister taking the reins in the series. The story takes place a couple books ago before the last one. 

Ugh, seeing Celia and Aric being all heartbroken from someone else’s POV was rough. :( Also…my poor heart melted seeing an old character again. Even though the character made me want to punch something, I did have a soft-spot for the character, so it was bittersweet to see this character alive and kicking after being dead for a couple of books now. It was nice to see this character, but it killed me a little inside knowing what this character’s fate is.

I didn’t expect the novella/short story to be as long as it was, but it worked. Poor Taran isn’t ready to be claimed by Gemini – her mate – but she has compromised to meet his parents coming over from Japan. O.M.G. That was a disaster!!!!!!!! I felt so bad…nothing went her way and everything went wrong….wrong is the wrong word for this….everything went to hell in a hand basket. I partially blame the parents for being so rough on her. 

Love Taran, but I wanted to kick her. I get that Celia is hurting, but is that really a reason to undermine your own relationship?? SMH 

I want…I mean…love Gemini as well, but he needed a firm kick in the romp too for not using his brain. 

Overall, this was a fun introduction to the POV of Taran. I’m dreading what is coming next though…it’s going to break my heart, because they have a lot of issues to deal with. The ending of the last book (which takes place way after this novella) has left me worried. I know they will someday get their POV, but it is going to be a lot of work and I sense some major baddies in the future as well. *shudders* I was frustrated with Taran, Gemini, his parents, and Aric, but it was still worth the read. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4. 

Thursday, January 28

Movie Review: The 5th Wave (2016)

Length: 112 mins
Released: 2016
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, & Thriller
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Seen at theaters


Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.


Read the book a little while ago for book club. I’ve been looking forward to the movie. I liked the book, but I had a feeling the movie might be even a little better due to the trailers. It was in some aspects…but not in others. So in the end they are nearly even.

I liked the cast they picked except for the main girl. Normally I really like the actress, but I feel like she didn’t try. Her acting seemed forced and she said was “shit” at least once or twice in every scene. It got really annoying QUICK. Maybe this should be blamed on the screen writing as well. But I wanted to flat out punch her. All her faces and expressions were the same. She has been so good in past movies. Sighs. Did she take acting lessons from Kristen Stewart?? WHAT HAPPENED TO HER!? 

The rest of the cast was amazing in my opinion. I was more interested in Zombie and his story since I couldn’t stand what’s her bucket (heck I’m blanking on her name – and I’m not interested in remembering). 

There were some things simplified that shouldn’t have been simplified like the scene where Zombie and the general have a little convo about what the hell is going on. The General seemed too eager to give in and tell Zombie all about the alien’s and the plan. Really? That is not at ALL how the scene went in the book. Zombie pretty much had to drag it out of the general. I get saving screen time and all, but it seemed so fake.

Now, the ending was good. It actually made me more curious to check out the second book in the series to see what happens next to the teens, the General, the aliens, and hot-ass Evan *drools*. They sure did pick someone pretty good looking to play Evan. ;) 

In the end, I liked it. It was worth seeing on the big screen. I couldn’t stand the main actress…I feel like she didn’t even try for this. Which confuses me, because I have adored her in other films? The rest of the cast was good and I approve. There were some things too easily explained, so it felt like plot-holes that could have been avoided if better explained and acted out differently. It’s hard to say WHAT without giving away spoilers. Well….I’ve battled what rating I should give. I think in the end…I will give it 3 stars. Nearly a 4 like the book, but the main character really ruined it for me.  Hopefully she is better in the sequel. 

Re-watch?: Mmmmmmm, maybe. 

Tuesday, January 26

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Author: Ransom Riggs
Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Genre: YA, Paranormal, & Mystery
Pages: ebook
First Published: June 2011
Where I Got It: My shelf (Friend let me a borrow copy)

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Honestly, this is not a book I would have picked up for myself. One of my lovely co-book club members picked this for this month. At first I was meh about it, but once I started reading I was hooked! I finished this in three sittings (darn work and sleep getting in the way of me reading this). 

The pictures along with the text was awesome. It really added to the story and added a hint of creepy. Yes, some of those pictures were creepy. A couple were cute like the one with Abe and Emma; I really loved that one – I stared at it for 5 minutes even though I didn’t picture Emma that old. It felt like an adult picture book. Why are these not more of a thing? I feel like it would be big seller. 

Along with having a unique way of telling the story, the story itself was unique. Time loops, peculiar children, a creepy island, monsters, and a novel of growing up and finding oneself. It was honestly tragic in a way too. Poor kids. 

My only real issue with the book was the tempo and some of the horribly dry spots. I found myself skimming some of the parts that seemed to drag on and on. Also, the scene with Jacob and his dad near the end bugged me. It seemed too easy. I cannot say much more, but it bugged me a bit. 

Overall, though, I really did enjoy this story. It was vastly different then some of the other books I have read in the past. I’m not sure if I want to continue with the series…I think I need to let this sink in before I contemplate jumping into the next book of the series. I do recommend this to everyone. It was different, unique, and it is a photo book for adults in a sense. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this with 3 stars. 

Monday, January 25

B's Monday Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

The first in a new E romance series, Backstage Pass is a sizzling mix of sex, love, and rock n' roll

It's been months since Brian Sinclair, lead guitarist for the famous rock band, Sinners, composed anything. Unable to write the music that once flowed so naturally, Brian is lost without his musical mojo. But when sexy psychology professor Myrna Evans comes on tour to study groupie mentality, Brian may have found the spark he needs to reignite his musical genius. When lust turns to love, will Brian be able to convince Myrna that what they have is more than just a fling, and that now that he's found his heart's muse, he doesn't want to live without her? 

My thoughts:
How was it again, didn't google frown upon certain words...will just change them then...

Over 18 only

I do not read E ica I mean, so much smex! I am a known smex scene skimmer, I just find it rather boring. But, damn, this book was awesome! The smex really fit in, and was hot, and damn dirty. I did not think I would enjoy it, I have had it for years, everyone else loved it so I was all eh, I will read a page and dnf. Instead it was one of the best books read this year (fine I know it has only been less than a month by still).

How did she manage it? I skim scenes in every book...every book. E tica is even worse cos there is so little story. Yup, I am flabbergasted. 

We have Myrna, a professor, and Brian a sexy guitarist. They meet, sparks fly, sort of, after oh you will see. They hook up, they do it some more, there is this funny bathtub scene, the title makes sense in another way, and it's hot and heavy.

Among all that smex I really rooted for these two. They have some issues to overcome, well she has, but it will all be ok. And the road there is sure dirty. These guys do not hide anything from each other.

I guess I have to give it a 4, since it actually was E, and I liked it...weird.

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Sinners on Tour, #1
E Romance

Sunday, January 24

Book Review: Tiny Glitches by Rebecca Chastain

Author: Rebecca Chastain
Title: Tiny Glitches
Genre: Paranormal Romance & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: Janurary 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion) 

Life isn’t exactly normal for Eva Parker: the stronger Eva’s emotions, the faster nearby electrical devices die. Eva can’t have a cell phone, use a computer, or be in a car for more than a few minutes without killing it. Dealing with her electricity-killing curse makes living in modern-day Los Angeles complicated enough for Eva—and that was before she was blackmailed into hiding a stolen baby elephant and partnered with Hudson, a sexy electrical engineer Eva just met. 

Dodging repeated attempts on her life made by ruthless corporations hunting the elephant is easier for Eva than quelling her growing affection for Hudson, and while protecting an elephant is hard, controlling her curse is a lot harder. However, Eva must do both, because if she lets her emotions free and falls in love with Hudson, neither of them will survive. 

This is my third book by the author and I want more! I utterly enjoy the writing style and the voice the author uses in her stories. Even though her stores deal in the paranormal/supernatural world, it feel real and I connect with every character. 

I really liked the Eva, the heroine, even though I wanted to kick her! Duh Hudson really, really likes you you daft girl! Would he be at ALL helping you with the whole elephant fiasco if he didn't? I do feel bad that he IS an electrical engineer and she is an electrician's worst nightmare - someone who drains electricity. Poor girl. Living in the modern world and having this curse makes every day life harder then hell. Girl can't even drive, because she kills cars! 

There was SO much craziness happening at every turn. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed by everything and I would have to step away. There was barely only moments of calm. The only calm before the onslaught of craziness was when they went to Eva's aunt's house at the beginning. From there it felt nonstop. It seemed unreal. It was fun, don't get me wrong, just over-the-top and hard to believe that Hudson stuck around.

Speaking of Hudson...I had mixed feelings about him. Great guy, but I was meh. He seemed to perfect to me. 

Ooooh the ending. It was good and made me happy (I was really upset about what I thought had happened, but the last chapter cleared everything up for me). It seemed like a stretch, but I'm happy with it :D. 

But yes, this was a cute and fun story. I loved the uniqueness of the story, situations, and the characters - especially for Eva and her sad curse. I would be a hot mess if I had to deal with that. I highly recommend it to people who need a lighter story with some laughs, craziness at every turn, and fun characters. In the end, I shall stamp this with....mmmm...3 stars. 

Saturday, January 23

#FitReaders Check-In Weekly Check-in Jan 23 2016

#FitReaders is hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.
Finally getting back into the fun! I've been working out, but too lazy to record. :) Not too shabby! Next week I'll try to do the 5K!!!! 

Sun - Nothing really...did a lot of shopping and cleaning? LOL 
Mon - 1 mile bike, 10560 steps/day, & 10 mins weights
Tue - 30 mins weights/crunches/sit-ups/squats (didn't have my step tracker on)
Wed - 30 mins Zumba (didn't have my step tracker on - as you can see I am forgetful as heck)
Thu - 11886 step/day
Fri - 1 mile run, .50 mile bike, 5 mins weights (didn't have my step tracker...again)
Sat -  1.06 miles run, 1 mile bike, & 10 mins weights

Friday, January 22

Book Review: A Curse Unbroken by Cecy Robson

Author: Cecy Robson
Title: A Curse Unbroken (Weird Girls #5)
Genre: Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: March 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon) 

The preternatural world is changing. After a massive magical throwdown tore apart the established order, the dark elements are rebuilding their ranks unopposed. Celia Wird’s world is changing, too. She’s the mate of the pureblood were Aric, and his Warriors are honor-bound to protect her family as she and her sisters recover from unimaginable horrors.

Celia hesitates to reveal the true extent of the Wird sisters’ trauma, but they aren’t the only ones keeping secrets: Aric and the werewolf Elders are tracking a stone that grants limitless power. So is a tough coven of witches. Then Misha, a master vampire with his own plans for the stone, sends Celia after it. Can she and the vamps beat both the weres and the witches to the treasure before it falls into the wrong hands?

Fearing for Celia’s safety, Aric begs her to stay out of the hunt. What they don’t realize is that they’re the ones being hunted. But Celia’s ready to prove that she’s not easy prey. 

This has been sitting on the back burner for a little bit, but I’ve been itching to read it for a while!! With the release of Taran’s short story, I really had to read this before I got to that. 

Oooooooh Celia…I feel so bad for her. The author is OH so mean to her ;). Even when taking a break from the supernatural world to go back to nursing she can’t really and truly escape. She and her equally abused sisters have a HUGE target on their back from their youth. Poor girls. 

I couldn’t tell what was going on, but throughout the whole story there was something bubbling underneath the surface, but I couldn’t grasp what was going to happen exactly…but MAN when it and a twist was revealed I was STUNNED! Kudos for keeping me on the edge of my seat!! That twist though…that was good, very good. It connected SO many loose ends up and questions I had. 

Ooooooooooooh the ending had me all gushy and happy!! I figured it was going to happen when they introduced that spirit rock, but it was so nice to see it happen! Celia truly deserved it. *zips mouth* I will say no more, but I was that annoying girl you want to slap at the movies who is “awes” and claps and doesn’t stop talking about it (Sorry to my friend who was nearby when I read the ending) ! I’m such a sap. ;)


I think this was one of my favorites of Celia’s books. I am very curious to truly get in the mind of the other characters like Taran and Gemini. 

I am utterly in love with Gemini. *swoons* Yes, I like him more than Aric. PLEASE FIX THEM! Ugh…I did want to slap Taran though. I TOTALLY get her thinking he thinks she is gross and deformed, but really? C’mon girl…he is your soul mate…he loves you. It was bumming me out all her self-hate. Gemini needed a slap too. YELL AT HER! SHAKE HER! SCREAM, “WOMAN I LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!!” GAH! He needs to blow up and be dominant dammit!

Sorry....Sorry….hahaha I was waiting to rant and rave about that drama since I started the book!

I shall end my ranting and raving now. I do recommend this series. It is really good. Before you tackle this book the others MUST be read. Totally worth a read if you have any liking for paranormal books with some romance mixed in. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 5 stars. 

Thursday, January 21

Movie Review: Diana (2013)

Length: 1 hr & 47 min
Released: 2013
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Netflix


During the last two years of her life, Princess Diana embarks on a final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.


I’ve been eyeballing this movie for a bit because 1) it looked good and 2) I’ve been wanting to watch a movie about the lovely Princess Diana since I’ve watched the movie about Elizabeth II. The only reason why I was worried was because I wasn’t sure about the actress (I’ve seen her in other things) and I am a big fan of the Princess – who isn’t really? 

I loved the connection between the beginning and the ending. I love when movies and books do that. It was an odd way to start the film, but that makes me intrigued by what, why, and etc. So kudos with connecting the ending and the beginning like that.

My biggest issue about the film would have to be the main actress and how they presented the love affair. I did like how they showed that the Princess was human and a woman and had her weak moments – especially around finding/losing love. However, the actress didn’t fit the role. She wasn’t BAD, but she didn’t it. She didn’t present the confidence and mystery. She had the hair and the eyes, but that was where the resemblance ended. The real Princess was tall and lanky, but the actress was short and pretty curvy….so that through me off a bit. Even though Nicole Kidman isn’t my favorite actress, I think  she would have been a better Princess, she has the allure and she shares key features of the real Princess. 

I love the man who played Hasnet!! But I am biased, because he played Sayid in LOST, so yeah….I love him in everything he plays in. He did gain some weight in this film, so I was taken aback and I wasn’t sure it was him at first. 0_o

I wish I could have said I LOVED this film, but it was just okay; I had no issue turning it off and returning back to it a couple days later. The actress was meh, the cast was also meh (except Naveen Andrews :3 even being a chunkier then I am used to), the layout of the story was meh, BUT I did like how the laid out the ending/beginning. 

Overall, this was just OKAY. Nothing special about it. Do I recommend it? Sure, but don’t have high expectations. I shall stamp this with 3 stars. 

Re-watch?: No.