Lost in My Youth

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald I originally read this book in high school. I don't remember particularily liking it, but to be quite honest it was 20 years ago (omg!) and I really didn't recall any of the actual story. With the movie release, I thought I would give this classic another try. I am so glad I did. I have a much greater appreciation for this novel.

Nick Carraway is a young man from the west who moved east to West Egg to hopefully make his fortune in the bond market. His cousin Daisy, with husband Tom live on East Egg (the more fashionable side). There, Nick meets the intriguing Jordan, and the 4 of them begin to socialize.

Nick's elusive neigbour Jay Gatsby throws huge parties every weekend, but Nick is yet to meet him. There are many rumors about Gatsby: he killed a man for one. But what is the truth? Who is he and where did he come from?

When past and present collide, Nick finds himself in the middle of it whether he likes it or not. Until one fateful night, when a tragic accident (karma?) occurs and reality rears its ugly head.

In a world of snobbery, wealth and boredom, this novel captures a look at the shallow nature of people in general. The age old question: money or love? The power of lies and rumors. It is written in such a poetic way, that I had trouble putting it down.

I advise anyone who has negative memories of this high school mandatory read to give it another try. You might be pleasantly surprised by your reaction. I know I certainly was!
One Night in the Ice Storm - Noelle  Adams David took her virginity and never talked to her again. A total bastard. Or that's what Rachel has always believed. 8 years later, Rachel has come home to visit her mother and brother Brad for Christmas. Her mother and Brad are stranded in the city due to a severe ice storm. Rachel is left by herself in the drafty old house....but.. David just happens to be stopping by to pick up a circular saw.

Although just a novella, this was far too predictable for my taste. I had the ending figured out from the beginning which cast a shadow on the story for me. A good fluff piece if your looking for some distraction for an hour, but not one of my favourites from this author.
Forever Too Far (Too Far, #3) - Abbi Glines Blaire and Rush's wedding is fast approaching as is the birth of their son. It should be a blissful time....but it's not all roses. Nan is back and causing trouble again. And Rush once again tries to smooth things over and step in as the father figure. This time it's just too much though. Nan will never accept her past, and will never accept Blaire.

We get some closure in this book. The wedding, the birth and the happily ever after. Overall, a satisfying read but very predictable based on the ending of book 2. We knew what was going to happen...we just got to watch it unfold.
The Silver Star - Jeannette Walls Sisters Liz and Bean have been moved from place to place by their mother who is "trying to find the magic". The girls are frequently left to their own devices as their mother chases her dreams. Then one day, a nosy neighbour begins to question the whereabouts of their mother and they are forced to flee. They head to their Uncle's house whom they haven't seen in over a decade. He takes the girls in and they find they rather like it there. Liz decides she and Bean need to find jobs to pay for some back to school clothing, since it looks like their mother won't be collecting them anytime soon. Against their uncle's wishes, the girls find employment from Jerry Maddox. Maddox is a controlling, domineering man who is known for hitting on woman all over town. Things appear to be going well, until the unthinkable happens to Liz.

In a town that is dealing with racial integration and some very antiquated and backward opinions, Liz endures a trial....and Bean has to face the fact that regardless how brave you are, justice is not always served...or is it?

Overall the book moved at a steady pace, yet it was slow. The storyline itself was a little on the dry side...their was no clear climax to the story. No surprises. To be honest, I expected much more and this book just did not deliver.
Bulldog - Dog Fancy Magazine I read very few reference books cover-to-cover but this is a must read for English Bulldog owners, especially first-timers! Packed full of information on how to maintain a happy, healthy, well socialized, and good mannered bulldog. The book also contains a look at the origins of the bulldog, along with famous bulldogs throughout history. This reference guide has it all! There is also a great resource section in the back with links to various websites for further information. And of course, I have to mention all the adorable pictures! What's not to love?? They're so darn ugly you can't help but think they're cute!! Well worth the read!
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell I actually liked this sequel better than the first book! How often does that happen? It was nice to see some familiar names quoted within the pages, included a library I often visited as a child!

Quotes had me laughing out loud, a fun book to de-stress with! I recommend to anyone who ever worked in a bookstore, library or just plain enjoys a good laugh to pick it up! You won't be disappointed!
There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness, #1) - Claire Contreras This was such a uniquely written book. I was pleasantly surprised!

Jumping between past and present, the story is told through the eyes of Blake. Blake is a young woman from a questionable past. She witnessed her mother's death, was taken against her will and brought up by a woman she calls "Aunt Shelley". Despite this, Blake finds love and happiness with her Aunt although nightmares and questions haunt her daily. After Shelley's death, Blake is once again moved into a new life, this one becoming her "family" of today. This is also where she meets Cole, the love of her life.

But questions need to be answered. And these answers are showing up on Blakes' doorstep. Why was she taken all those years ago? Is her father still alive? Who are these people following her?

Not just an NA, this book also contains mystery and intrigue. The plot was refreshing, taking the NA genre in another direction. Bring on book 2!
The Bet - Rachel Van Dyken Oh dear.

One girl, two brothers. Who will she choose? Kacey has grown up with them. She ends up dating Jake, and Travis ends up tormenting her. You know, like pulling her braids, putting a snake in her bed....that kind of stuff. But they are "grown ups" now and Travis has been in love with Kacey his whole life.

My issues with this book. The characters are all beyond immature. I was embarrassed for them. Not one knew how to behave like an adult. Secondly, the author's attempt at humour was way too much. Sometimes less is more. Apparently the author did not agree. I mean, who slips on a thong?? Thongs aren't slippery. I actually even tried an experiment to see if I could slip on a thong. But nope, couldn't be done. But Travis did it.

I know I'm the minority when it comes to my rating of this book, but I just couldn't find anything redeeming in it for me. If you're looking for a ridiculous, unrealistic, fluff read then this may be worth picking up.
Untouched (Cedar Cove, #0.5) - Melody Grace Oh Emerson!!!

After reading "Unbroken", I can honestly say I liked this prequel better. This is how it all began. How two strangers found each other, before they almost destroyed each other. The connection between Juliet and Emerson was so much more tangible. The pages were filled with tension, need, and torment.
I wish I had read this first....it would have definitely fueled my interest!!

To anyone that has read "Unbroken", pick this up! You won't be disappointed!!!
Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike What happens to you after death? Especially when you know your not in line for angel wings? That's the question Kimberlee is faced with.

After her death, Kimberlee finds herself in limbo unable to move on. A girl from a wealthy family attending a private school, Kimberlee was a klepto. Now she thinks her "unfinished business" is to return everything to their rightful owners. There is only one problem.....Kimberlee is a ghost. Noone can see her. That is until Jeff.

Jeff is the new kid. For some unexplicable reason, Jeff can see Kimberlee. Talk to Kimberlee. Agrees to help Kimberlee.

And so begins the task of returning all the stolen items without getting caught. Not easy, considering Kimberlee was very good at what she did and there is a cave full of items awaiting him.

And that's the story. Pretty simplistic plot. No big surprises. No strange turns. Just a story of a ghost trying to move on.

Overall, I enjoyed the book but wish it has a little more "meat" in it.

Highlanders in kilts.....what's not to love??

The Seduction of Elliot McBride - Jennifer Ashley

This was the 5th book in the Mackenzie series, and believe it or not it, my favorite so far!

This story focuses on Elliot McBride and his new wife Juliana. Elliot is in constant battle with the dark demons of his past. Having gone as a young man to India to earn his fortune, he was captured and held prisoner for 10 months. While imprisoned in the bowels of the earth, Elliot was beaten, starved and constantly tortured.....for fun. His captors expected him to die. Waited for him to die. One thought kept Elliot fighting. Juliana. When he finally escaped his captors, he was nothing but a shell of a man. Most called him a madman.

In the meantime, Juliana has been engaged to Grant Barclay. On her wedding day, she is left at the alter. While seeking a quiet place to gather her thoughts, she quite literally stumbles upon Elliot dozing in a nearby chapel.

And so it begins. Can Juliana soothe the monster living within Elliot? 

I loved the characters in this novel. They were both likable and refreshing. Elliot was a character with so many flaws and such a tortured past, you could not help but root for him.

Any fans of the series will definitely be pleased with this next chapter!!!

Reflected in You - Sylvia Day

I have mixed feelings about this book. The first half left me in a state of disbelief. Although Eva continues to insist she's in love with Gideon, their relationship remains focused on sex with no communication. Normal? No. Healthy? Definitely not.

The second half was the redeeming factor in this book. Cary is the victim of a vicious attack which leaves him hospitalized. Gideon becomes more and more distant with no visible explanation...his ex-fiance, Corrine, is suddenly back in the picture. But why? Eva decides to break things off and Gideon's only response is "wait". Wait for what exactly?

Then one night the detectives come. Nathan Barker is dead. Coincidence or not? And how does this tie everything together?

The biggest revelation in this book is we finally find out what happened to Gideon when he was a child. This alone was worth trudging through the first half of the book for.

The ending? Explosive.

Overall, I enjoyed this book better than the first "Bared to You". The plot was better and had more substance. The relationship is still maddening, but I'm curious to see where it goes from here.

Going Vintage - Lindsey Leavitt

I was so disappointed with this one. It could have been great. The premise was great. The book was not.

Mallory has sworn off all technology after finding out her boyfriend Jeremy has been cheating on her with an avatar on "Friendspace" which is the equivalent of Facebook. While cleaning out her grandmother's house, Mallory finds a "list" which is basically a to-do list from 1962. Inspired by this list, Mallory is convinced that by simplifying her life, she will find happiness and success.

So she goes vintage. Gone is the internet and cellphone. Hello library and rotary dial. 

Although the story itself is cute, there really wasn't much to it. I wanted more. More details about life in 1962 other than finger foods and a pep club.

I could see this book appealing to a younger audience. Early teens maybe. For the more mature reader, save your money and move on.

The Bell Witch: An American Haunting - Brent Monahan In one word....boring. I just couldn't get into this one. Was looking for a something scary, or at least creepy. This book was neither.
This is SO me!!!!
This is SO me!!!!
Unbroken (Beachwood Bay) - Melody Grace

Review to come!

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