May 16, 2014

Book Review: Subway Love

subwayloveSubway Love is a young adult love story.  The two main characters are Jonas and Laura.  Jonas is a budding photographer and carries his film camera around with him just about everywhere.  When he spots a girl on the other side of the subway platform he takes her photo and then can’t stop thinking of her.  He ends up showing up at the subway station over and over in hopes of finding her  again.  When they finally meet, he gets her Dad’s number from her – she doesn’t have a cell phone and she seems a bit confused as to what Facebook was.  At first I wasn’t sure what year the book was set in – but Jonas seems to be all about technology (despite the film camera) and Facebook and emails, etc.  Laura doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what he is talking about and even if she wasn’t allowed to have such things she should at least know what they are, right?  Well, if you check the book out you’ll figure out just why Laura is clueless.

When I finished the book, I wasn’t sure quite what to make of it.  It was a nice love story, different, but still an enjoyable one to read about with characters that you were rooting for (for the most part.  Laura’s mom’s boyfriend Bruce we could all probably do without – but he is also an important piece to the story at the same time, even if he is an ass.)  This book should have been a quick read but it took me 2 days to get into the first 1/4 of the book.  Once things got moving though I read the next 1/2 in an evening and only stopped because I fell asleep.  The last 1/4 I finished quickly the next morning to see how things would wrap up.

I also liked the concept of soul mates or “beshert” as explained in the book.  It basically says that when you are born the trauma of birth makes you forget everything you knew about your soul mate but then you spend your life looking for them and once you find them, you know it is them.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

What if destiny leads you to your soul mate, but the laws of time conspire to keep you apart? 

If her parents had never divorced, Laura wouldn’t have to live in the shadow of Bruce, her mom’s unpredictable boyfriend. Her mom wouldn’t say things like “Be groovy,” and Laura wouldn’t panic every weekend on the way to Dad’s Manhattan apartment. But when Laura spots a boy on a facing platform, lifting a camera to his face, looking right at her, Laura feels anything but afraid, and she can’t forget him. Jonas, meanwhile, thinks nonstop about the pretty hippie girl he glimpsed on the platform — trying to comprehend how she vanished, but mostly wondering whether he will see her again in a city of millions — and whether if he searches, he would have any chance of finding her. In a lyrical meditation on love, Nora Raleigh Baskin explores the soul’s ability to connect, and heal, outside the bounds of time and reason.

Book Review: Song of the Sound



Song of the Sound tells the story of Libby and Bree – a mother and daughter, who end up moving from France to New Zealand.  Libby is an expert on dolphin communication and so because of her job the two travel a lot.  Bree is about to be thirteen and Libby is a single mom.  One of the other major players in the story is John-Cody Gibbs. John-Cody is living in New Zealand and having trouble letting go and properly grieving the death of his wife, Mahina.

The book is a bit on the long side, almost 400 pages and I felt like it dragged the story on a bit in parts, there were several flashbacks and while I guess they helped round out the story, I could have done without them.  A couple of times I was just reading along and was just waiting for romance (Libby and John-Cody HAVE to both like each other – why is neither acting on it?!) or some action.  I am happy to report that I got both of my wishes by the end of the book, but I won’t expand upon it too much more.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and I absolutely of course loved that it had some dolphins in the mix, I just wished it was a bit shorter because I felt like it took me forever to read.  (Which in my world is about 4 different reading sessions .)  There were a couple of times when I thought I would put the book down and never pick it up again – but I am very happy that I stuck it out and didn’t listen with my gut, so to speak.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Love blossoms in one of the world’s most pristine—and tragic—locations

Libby Bass works as an expert in whale and dolphin communication in the coastal waters surrounding the Milford Sound in New Zealand, known to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s the ideal situation for Libby: She can practice what she loves while her daughter grows up in one of the lushest locations imaginable.

When Libby meets the haunted and handsome John-Cody Gibbs, she’s taken aback by his inherent understanding of the natural world. But despite his picturesque surroundings, John-Cody is trapped by his depression over the death of his wife, Mahina. As he and Libby grow closer, a long-buried secret from John-Cody’s past resurfaces and threatens to tear them apart forever.

Book Review: Nailed

nailedNailed is another one of my favorite COSMO Red-Hot Reads.  This book is just shy of 100 pages and seems to pack a whole heck of a lot of story into those few pages.  The book follows Sophia Holbrook, who has gotten a job hosting a new TV show on a design / home improvement network.  She is going to be renovating and decorating a building – a building where she and her mother lived when she was growing up to help them get back on her feet.  Because of this connection, Sophia really wants to do a wonderful job and won’t let anyone doubting her get in the way of that.  Her co-host is a hot contractor named Fynn and their chemistry seems to be heating up – both on screen and off.

At first things are a little awkward because Sophia isn’t sure if Fynn wants nothing to do with her or not.  Of course, one night when they are the only ones staying late at the renovation site, things heat up and Sophia realizes maybe there is a mutual attraction there after all.  That is, until Fynn seems to be ignoring her the next day. Their relationship is a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

The sub plot is that the renovation budget was done incorrectly and they are now short $50,000!  The producer of the show decides that he will hold a benefit and wants Sophia to tell her story – including about her father.  Sophia wants nothing to do with it.  This was probably the best part of the story (line), though it came at the end.

A quick, cute read, and taking it for what it is, I enjoyed it.

I received a free e-copy in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Warning: This show contains scenes of sexual tension.

Hosting a new TV show is a fantasy-turned-reality for diva decorator Sophia Holbrook. But concentrating on colour swatches is hard when all she can think of is her studly co-host, contractor Fynn Babineau. These two may clash over blueprints and budgets on-screen, but with the lust palpable between them, rumour has it they have been putting more than just their heads together behind the scenes….

What secrets will the cameras expose? Tune in tonight to find out.

Viewer discretion advised. Mature audiences only.

Book Review: The Dylanologists


I found the book The Dylanologists to be very interesting.  A lot of the “obsessive” Bob Dylan followers reminded me a lot of some of the Hanson fans. And yes, I’ll admit it, there are a couple in the book that remind me a bit of myself. (Though I’m not sure I’d call myself “obsessive”, I’m sure there are others that would!)  It is always nice to see that this love of music brings everyone together – no matter who the artist.  There was one woman who was talking about camping out for front row for Dylan shows and honestly everything she was saying I have heard other Hanson fans say or have heard myself.  Sam shit, different band.

It was also interesting on how this book told the story of Bob Dylan and his career, but moreso from the fan’s perspective.  How the fans are looking for unreleased recordings or collect really obscure things that have some sort of a connection to Dylan.  The other interesting part is how Dylan doesn’t really want to be known – the book starts out with a fan saying to him “You don’t know who I am, but I know who you are” and Dylan responded “Let’s keep it that way.”  The more Dylan tried to be unfound the more it seemed his fans wanted to find him.

This was certainly an interesting approach to a book but one that I am very glad that I read as I found it to be quite fascinating.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Kinney enters into the world of obsessive Bob Dylan followers (aka the “Dylanologists”) to deliver an immersive work on the artist’s singular impact on American culture.

Bob Dylan was the most influential songwriter of his time. Half a century later, he continues to be a touchstone, a fascination, and an enigma. From the very beginning, he attracted an intensely fanatical cult following, and inThe Dylanologists, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Kinney ventures deep into this eccentric subculture to answer the question: What can Dylan’s grip on his most enthusiastic listeners tell us about his towering place in American culture?

In exuberant prose, Kinney introduces us to a vibrant underground: diggers searching for unheard tapes and lost manuscripts, researchers obsessing over the facts of Dylan’s life and career, writers working to decode the unyieldingly mysterious songs, collectors snapping up prized artifacts for posterity, travelers caravanning from concert to concert. It’s an affectionate mania, but as far as Dylan is concerned, a mania nonetheless. Over the years, he has been frightened, annoyed, and perplexed by fans who try to peel back his layers. Intensely private and fiercely combative, Dylan makes one thing plain: He does not wish to be known.

Intelligent, entertaining, and insightful, The Dylanologists is a richly detailed work of narrative journalism in the tradition of Confederates in the Attic and an absorbing story about the tension between zealous fans and their beloved idol.

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