Blog Archives

Book Review: The Code for Love and Heartbreak

The Code for Love and Heartbreak is supposed to be loosely based/retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma.  I hadn’t ever read Emma before, so I’m not so sure about that. (I will look it up a synopsis and let you know similarities at the end of this review.)  The book follows Emma who is a math genius that loves to code and is co-president of the coding club at school.  I saw a lot of myself in Emma – would much rather stay home and code than be social, doesn’t want a boyfriend, etc.  Except we never had a coding club when I was in high school and the guys in the one coding class that was offered at school couldn’t manage to figure out “Ctrl Alt Delete” (seriously!)   One part of the book really hit home “Sometimes I dream in code. When I work on a lot for a project, or right before bed, my subconscious is still there, filled with lines of code, and my dreams are laced with numbers and sequences.  I often wake up with the new ability to solve a problem that was bothering me in the code the night before, my mind having worked it out somehow while I slept.”  This has happened to me on multiple occasions and people think I am absolutely nuts when I tell them, so having someone else say this – even if it is a fictional character – made me feel validated.

Anyway. The book.  Coding Club needs to come up with a project to pitch for a championship and it comes down to George’s idea vs Emma’s.  George wants to create an app with karma points for how much you recycle and you can compete against your friends.  Emma wants to create an app that will match up the students at the school for love based on different attributes – what they look like, likes, dislikes, etc.  Emma’s idea ends up winning and the book follows them tweaking their algorithm and setting up various couples in the school based on the outcome of the matches.

We never do find out who Emma’s match was based on the algorithm and they have to create a “second chance” match option for those who broke up with their first, “best” option.

From reading a synopsis of Jane Austen’s Emma – it seems a lot of the character names are the same.  Emma is a matchmaker.  But The Code for Love and Heartbreak is a more modern version. Now I’m thinking I might want to go read the original…

Either way this is a very cute YA book and I enjoyed it.

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


About the Book

In this contemporary romcom retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma by USA TODAY bestselling author Jillian Cantor, there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

When math genius Emma and her coding club co-president, George, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born.

George disapproves of Emma’s idea of creating a matchmaking app, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other, and Emma’s own feelings defy any algorithm?

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Little Cities: San Francisco

I absolutely loved these “Little Cities” books, that are geared towards kids and teaching them about some of the landmarks in the city.  I had previously read 3 – of cities I had visited.  This is the first one of a city I have not yet visited, but is very high on my bucket list!

This book features San Francisco – Golden Gate Bridge! Fisherman’s Wharf! Alcatraz! And more!   A fun way to introduce your child to new cities.

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

About the Book

Little ones will love exploring the museums, monuments, and more with the help of this handy guide to the city of San Francisco.

Whether they’re San Francisco natives or on vacation, this board book is ideal for young children who want to learn more about this incredible city. Colorful images of famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge engage the attention of young readers, while fascinating facts help to engage children’s interest in their surroundings. For instance, did you know that when the Golden Gate Bridge was built, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world? Or that the city is built on more than 50 hills?

This board book highlights child-friendly attractions and features fun activities for kids to do. From famous landmarks and beautiful parks, to the cable cars and amazing buildings, this board book is the perfect children’s guide to the unique attractions of San Francisco.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: 10 Blind Dates

10 Blind Dates was a really cute book.  Sophie doesn’t want to go visit her sister over Christmas break with her parents, so instead she goes to her grandparents house.  Before she leaves, she goes to a party, only to overhear her boyfriend, Griffin, saying he wants to break up with her because the rest of their time in school should be “fun”.  She shows up on her Nonna’s porch in tears and Nonna devises a plan to get her mind off of it – Nonna and her very, very large family will pick out 10 blind dates for her to go on – one every night she is there (minus Christmas Eve and Christmas, of course!)

The book then follows Sophie on these 10 dates – some are sweet, some are horrible and some are even worse than that… but the whole time she ends up realizing she may have feelings for her cousin’s best friend that she has been friends with practically her whole life. But one problem. He has a girlfriend.

I enjoyed reading this book and following Sophie’s journey to get over heart break.  I couldn’t keep track of all her family members though! There were just so many of them! (I don’t envy the author for having to come up with that many names and personalities either, whew!)  I even teared up a couple times reading it. (Aww.)  Definitely a sweet, quick read.

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

About the Book

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.
Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.
When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.
This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Vagina Problems

Lara Parker wrote “Vagina Problems” because talking about it is taboo and she wants to help normalize it.  She suffers from endometriosis, a condition that effects 1 in 10 women, yet it took her years and years to be properly diagnosed all the while she had to deal with terrible pain that no one was really able to help her with.  I can’t even imagine!

I think this is a great book for anyone who may be dealing with the same kind of condition – she talks about what did and didn’t work for her (and while everyone’s bodies are different, it could be a good place to start for some) and how she dealt with dating when she couldn’t have sex because it was to painful and just dealing in day to day life before she could get things properly diagnosed and a bit more under control.

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

About the Book

Shrill meets Everything Below the Waist in this raw and sharply-funny account of Lara Parker’s experience of endometriosis from diagnosis, to dating without sex, to work-life balance and more

When Lara Parker first started experiencing what she calls her Vagina Problems, she was just 14 years old. She hurt everywhere, but especially in her abdomen and vagina. The pain was constant, and worse around her period. But if she’d learned anything about periods before she even started her own, it was that you didn’t talk about that shit.

So she mostly just tried to ignore it, even as her period made her throw up, pass out, miss school, and wrecked an entire week of her life every month. She convinced herself that everyone must be feeling what she was feeling, but that they were just better at hiding it. When she finally brought it up to her doctor, the doctor brushed it off and made her feel stupid. “Periods are supposed to hurt,” she said. This was only the beginning of Lara’s seven-year journey to find out what was going on in her body. It took multiple doctors, thousands of dollars, and a refusal to take no for an answer for her to finally have some sort of understanding of what was causing her so much pain.

Now Lara is ready take an honest, funny, relatable, and raw look at how Vagina Problems have affected every single part of her life. From fighting to get a diagnosis, to maintaining relationships through illness and depression, to working a full-time job with chronic pain, to navigating the dating scene when she can’t have sex—this book will have it all. Lara acts as a guide, a confidant, a friend, an outlet, and a support system to anyone who has ever gone through Vagina Problems.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Once Upon a Time

I haven’t read any romance novels like this one in a while.  The stories are always a little off the wall in these, and this story was no different.  The characters always tend to have names you’d otherwise not hear, and this story was no different.  It had kind of 3 stories going on at once.  The story of Alaric and Caterine, the conflict between Alaric and his family (mainly his father) and then the fictional piece that Alaric was writing about Erica and Charles – a historical fiction romance.

Alaric writes romance books. But he writes them in a way that is a little unorthodox.  He has a “muse” aka a “research assistant” who acts out the scenes with his college roommate, Sim, allowing Alaric to pick up all the little details of the encounters that otherwise might be missed if he were to just write from his imagination.  Each book, he chooses an assistant that looks like the character to “act” these scenes out.  We first meet him trying to find his Erica – he thinks it is Caterine but after she is getting harassed by a dude with a gun in a coffee shop – he doesn’t think it is the time to talk to her about it.  He ends up meeting up with her again later at his book signing (go figure!) and she agrees (after lots of persuading) to take on this odd job offer.  But for Alaric, there is something different about this one.

Alaric and his twin sister are the heirs to the “White Chocolate” fortune – his father is deathly ill in the book and Alaric doesn’t like the man his father is and wants nothing to with with him or the chocolate. (Book is also set in Pennsylvania for some of it, so I imagine this is the “Hershey Chocolate” equivalent – but the families last name is White)  His father ends up giving him a ridiculous task that he MUST complete that oddly links Caterine and his families together.  If he doesn’t complete the task, his twin sister will lose HER inheritance too.  Either way Alaric will hurt someone – his sister or Caterine and he isn’t quite sure who he wants to hurt.

And finally – Erica and Charles.  They got married before Charles went off to war and he comes back disfigured.  Will they consummate their marriage now that he is a beast? Or will he keep going to brothels?

Alaric made a comment to Caterine that the genre all has happy endings – it was just a matter of figuring out how they got there.  Which was of course a bit of foreshadowing for the “real” story line in the book as well… or was it?

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


About the Book

Readers are saying, “Holy hotness!” … “the sexiest thing I have ever read” … “5 stars are not enough!

One disowned heir to a chocolate empire.

One recent library science grad.

A roommate who can best be described as sex on a stick.

A job that entails researching Regency era brothels and, um, “acting.”

What could possibly go wrong?

(Damn near everything.)

My name is Sim. This book is about Alaric White—my best friend, college roommate, partner in literary crime. Alaric writes kissing books. And by “kissing,” I mean … well, you know what I mean.

He writes each book with a muse. (If the IRS asks, tell them she’s a “research assistant.”) Yeah, I’ve told him this reflects a certain lack of imagination on his part. But I help out with his books so far be it from me to complain too much.

Usually it doesn’t take him long to find a “research assistant” for a new book. Women send him their “resumes.” Call. Email. Turn up at every stop on his book tours. (I know, it’s a rough life but someone has to live it.)

But his current work-in-progress? Well, it’s different. So he needs a different muse. Someone innocent and untouched … but also brave enough to embark on a journey into her deepest, darkest desires.

After a year, he’s still searching. His agent is getting antsy. (Okay, she’s on the verge of full-blown panic that he won’t finish the book on time.)

Then he sees her, looking like an angel just arisen from a leisurely afternoon of amour. (His exact words.) She’s sitting in a suburban coffee shop … and being threatened by a goon with a pistol in his waistband.

(Dear reader, he rescues her.)

Then a plot twist not even I saw coming.

He should let her go. But he’s a selfish bastard. (I am too, but that’s a different story.) He just needs to keep her long enough to finish the book …

Once Upon a Time is a melt-your-clothes-off scorching hot standalone billionaire boss romance with a sweet happy ever after. (If I might say so myself.) Find out why readers are saying, “Holy hotness!” … “the sexiest thing I have ever read” … “5 stars are not enough!” (Well, I’m one of the reasons why they say that. Modest, too lol.) Of course, everyone wants my story now, too. We’ll see. My story makes Alaric’s look like a damn fairy tale. A twisted sort of fairy tale, but … well, just read this one first.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Girl Gone Viral

Girl Gone Viral is the 2nd book in the Modern Love series.  I had not read the first one and it did take me a bit to get into reading this one and I am not sure if it is because I was missing some backstory or not, but once things started to take off, I was hooked.  Katrina is an investor that likes to keep things private and stay to herself.  When she finds herself politely sharing a table with a guy at a coffee shop, another patron tweets the whole thing as if it is a first date and they just met their soulmate, causing the encounter to go viral.  Will the public figure out that it is Katrina?  She skirts off for a secret getaway with her bodyguard – the one who knows everything about her and is there to protect her.  She is a client.  But is that all she is?  Katrina is determined to get to know Jas more and get him to talk about his feelings… but was going to his family’s farm to escape really the right thing to do?

I enjoyed this book – lots of sub plots throughout it that kept things interesting and I also liked how it revolved around Katrina’s panic attacks and how she is trying to escape them but didn’t ignore the importance of mental health and several characters mentioned coping mechanisms and how therapy isn’t a bad thing and it could be helpful to put your thoughts and feelings out there.

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

About the Book

In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a reclusive investor goes viral, shoving her into the world’s spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’s been pining for…

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a random guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire encounter with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae has the world swooning. Going viral isn’t easy for anyone, but Katrina has painstakingly built a private world for herself, far from her traumatic past. Besides, everyone has it all wrong…that #CafeBae bro? He isn’t the man she’s hungry for.

He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, offers his family’s farm as a refuge. Alone with her unrequited crush feels like a recipe for hopeless longing, but Katrina craves the escape. She’s resigned to being just friends with Jas–until they share a single electrifying kiss. Now she can’t help but wonder if her crush may not be so unrequited after all…

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Scrapbook Saturday – November

Rhode Island Comic Con – Stranger Things, Lord of the Rings, Joey Fatone

more »

Category: Scrapbook  Comments off

Book Review: Game On! USA

Game On! USA is Awesome Activities for Clever Kids – mazes, word games, secret codes, brain teasers, spot the differences and more…  With a lot of kids (and adults, too!) home and looking for fun things to do, this seemed to be the best book to check out.  If you get stuck, there’s an answer key in the back of the book 😉  I personally really enjoyed all the secret code activities! There are plenty of different activities in this book and you’ll learn a lot about the Presidents and the States!

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

About the Book

The newest Game On! Awesome Activities for Clever Kids title, this activity book has dozens of new and challenging brain games for ages 8 to 12. More than 100 colorful puzzles feature the excitement and adventure of the United States, including crosswords, secret codes, word scrambles, spot the differences, mazes, and much more. It’s the perfect book for at home or on the go, and the fun starts with just a pencil — no electricity or batteries needed! Complete solutions appear at the end of the book.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Katie Cox vs. the Boy Band

A book about a Katie AND a boy band? How could I resist?

Katie Cox is an up and coming pop star.  But her friends just want to use her to get tickets to see the hot new boyband, Karamel, when they come to town.  Katie obliges and gets them 4 front row tickets from the record label, but passes on going to the show herself, even though it is her birthday (something that none of her friends seem to remember.)  While they are all at the showing missing her birthday, she writes a song about how she can’t stand the boyband and sends it to a friend.  It ends up going viral and this is how Katie Cox vs. The Boy Band is born.  Both release their singles on the same day and it is a “competition” to see who will do better on the charts!  Hmmmm… who could it be? The boy band selling out arenas or Katie who is up and coming and playing small gigs? I wonder.

A lot of teen drama and far fetched-ness. (Yes, this is now a word) But a cute read, just the same.

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

About the Book

Katie is going to have to face the music…

Katie Cox (overnight singing sensation and owner of the World’s Worst Bangs) never meant to become a pop star. And she didn’t mean to start a war with Karamel (aka the World’s Cheesiest Boy Band).

Now her first concert is just days away. Cool? Maybe. Terrifying? Definitely. And with her school friends more interested in her fame than her feelings, and an army of Karamel fans ready to take her down, this battle goes way beyond the charts.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Scrapbook Saturday – Florida Pt 3

Disney, Universal, Fat Ones

more »

Category: Scrapbook  Comments off