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The Love of my Life <3

The Love of my Life <3

Friday, May 28, 2010


“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”
- Sir Walter Scott

Our favorite cast from New York circa 1899 is back - and this time the tangled web of lies has grown. As you may recall from the first book (SPOILER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ LUXE) Elizabeth Holland faked her own death and went out west to be with Will, her true love.

Diana has now been placed in the social spotlight and is her family's only hope to stay afloat in the dog eat dog world of high society. However, Diana was never as polished as her sister Elizabeth was, and so finds the role she now must play rather irritating. Her role becomes harder when Henry Schoonmaker, Elizabeth's former fiance, can't take his eyes off her and declares his true feelings for her and she him. However, society won't accept them as a match because of the situation relating to Elizabeth.

Penelope Hayes, never one to be out-shined, is glad that her 'friend' Elizabeth has left the social scene. With Elizabeth gone, Penelope can now focus of Henry and make sure that he notices her - and that society will notice how they make a wonderful pair. Also, the disappearance of Elizabeth, allows Penelope to become the Queen of Society - a title that was once Elizabeth's. However, when her attempts to catch Henry's eyes goes unnoticed she begins to get agitated. Nothing will stand in her way - well except for Diana Holland who seems to have Henry's undivided attention.

Lina the Holland's former maid has made quite the splash in society. After selling some juicy gossip about the Holland's to Penelope for a price of $500 Lina can now afford to live in some style. She checks herself into the Netherland hotel and begins to formulate a plan that will allow her to be seen as belonging to the rank of the social elite women. Her luck quickly runs out though when the money she was using to buy her way into the society is stolen. She has no hope now of becoming polished and chasing after William. Her luck turns though, when she befriends Tristen - a con artist like herself. When Lina learns of more juicy gossip she decide to go to Penelope again. This time Lina is out for blood, she's quickly learning the rules of the social charades.

Hmm, I'm trying to gather my thoughts on this book. The ending is still with me and I can't give it away and I fear that if I write about my feelings on the subject I will have given the ending away. Can I just say that if FRUSTRATED ME! Does that give it away? I don't think so. I can see how it leads to the third book, but WHY? WHY? WHY? Ok. That's off my chest.

This book is still set in 1899, and I assume the third will be set in 1900 since the second book concludes in the last hours of 1899. I would have loved to have lived back then - but only as the wealthy. The clothes they all wore! To think today if we were to dress like that it would only be to go out somewhere nice - a ball, an opera, the Grammies. They however, dressed like that all the time. I might've liked being in those dresses at first but then I would've missed being in shorts or pants.

I loved the character development. Elizabeth was the focus in the first book, but in the second you see more of Lina and Diana. Oh Lina, Lina, Lina. Tisk tisk. It was fun getting to know them more. Penelope is still the trickster amongst them all - I hate her so.

I early am awaiting the 3rd book.

Books in this series:

2. Rumors
3. Envy
4. Splendor

Rumors by Anna Godbersen. New York (c) 2008

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thirst No. 1

Thirst No. 1 is compiled from three stories: Last Vampire, Black Blood, and Red Dice.

In the Last Vampire:
Alisa Perne has been called into the P.I.'s office, for reasons unknown to her. She is amused but cautious. While meeting with the P.I. she notices a few things. He is carrying a gun and treating her with caution - but why? To the outside world she looks like a harmless teen, so why would the P.I. need to be cautious?

Unfortunately for our P.I. he is very cocky and decides to show Alisa just how much she knows about her. He asks her how old she is, which you never do to a vampire (they don't like that) and he asks her about her money. She's very wealthy for her age and yet she has no parents. How did she get so rich. Did she steal the money? Invest the money? Win the lotto? Alisa already doesn't like the guy but asks why he has taken an interest in her and that's when he tells her that he was hired by a mystery man to look for her and dig up some information. Sadly our P.I. friend does not survive the meeting. However, Alisa is uneasy. Who is looking for her? She decides she'll the P.I.'s son to answer that question so she goes undercover at the local high school and begins her plan.

What she discovers is not good; her old friend Yaksha is out to get her and he was the one who created her 5,000 years ago. Their meeting will not be good.

Both Black Blood and Red Dice continue Alisa's story.

I really enjoyed this book. When I first started reading it I thought I was going to hate it, and did not look forward to reading the 500+ pages of it. I found her to be very cold and arrogant - although now I stand corrected. Alisa (whose real name is Sita) is full of compassion and intelligence. Although she believes that Krishna no longer lover her, she still prays to him. She is constantly struggling with morale issues - like near the end where she must chose between killing a few to save humanity or not killing at all (not a spoiler). I also like how religion was woven throughout the story.

Books in this series:

Thirst No. 1 (Last Vampire, Black Blood, Red Dice)
Thirst No. 2 (Phantom, Evil Thirst, Creatures of Forever)
Thirst No. 3 (The Eternal Dawn)

Thirst No. 1 by Christopher Pike. New York (c) 2009

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You

As I was browsing the YA section in my library I came across this book, and I'm sad to say I judged a book by its title. I do not know if it's as bad as judging a book by its cover but there, my confession is out. I've always had a secret dream to be a ballerina and this book let me live vicariously through the main character Kayla.

Kayla attends Florida Arts High School (which everyone calls Farts) with her older sister Paterson. She attends the school for their dance section while Paterson attends the school for their art section. Kayla has been a ballet dancer for all her life and loves every moment of it, even when Melissa (who's like Malfoy in HP) continues to irritate Kayla. Kayla is entering her junior year at Farts and it really excited. She spent her summer in NYC perfecting her technique at a wonderful ballet school and can't wait to put her new technique to use and win the coveted role of Cinderella in the ballet production of Cinderella.

When auditions come, she preforms wonderfully. The next day when the roles have been cast everyone is crowding around to see who's gotten which position. Lourdes, one of Kayla's friends has received the role of Cinderella (and although Kayla really wanted that part she's glad it went to Lourdes). Although Kayla is bummed she still can get a decent part by playing one of the seasons - but no. Her role is playing that of one of the ugly step-sisters! Even though she landed the understudy role of Cinderella, her true role is that of an ugly step-sister. Later that day Kayla's dance instructor calls her into her office to explain the decisioning. Timm (with two ems) whose company is producing the play, decided not to cast Kayla as Cinderella because she is rather 'well endowed' and does not have the 'typical' female ballerina body. He does recognizer her talent, but her lady friends are just too much.

The next day a pair of red pointe shows with a note "dancing in red shoes will kill you" appear in the dance studio. Rumors start to swirl about who and why they were placed there. Of course Melissa takes this opportune moment to cast suspicion towards Kayla. The question though remains who put them there and is it a legitimate threat? Will someone actually die if they were red pointe shoes while preforming Cinderella?

This was such a quick and light read. The message of the book was very easy to grasp without having to dig for it: girls should not have to conform to the "norm" just to 'fit in'. Kayla with her rather large chest would have had to had breast reduction surgery if she wanted to continue in the main areas of ballet; she doesn't have the typical body of a female ballerina - which I assume is tiny everywhere. In the book Paterson, Gray, and Kayla were talking about fairy tales and the implications the message has for young women. In the olden days (before Disney changed them) the tales were more like the true Brothers Grimm tales - there was not happily every after for the women.

Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone. NY (c) 2005

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hearts at Stake

This book was recommended to me by Lady Storm and her blog is right here! and her review of the book is right here. Thank you for the recommendation!

Solange and Lucy (who's real name is Lucky) have been best friends from the time they were born. In fact, they are like sisters - so much so that Solange's seven brothers treat Lucy like she is their sister. The only problem they face right now is how to keep Solange safe. You see, she's a rare thing. Vampires are turned, not made - except for the Drake bloodline and Solange is the first female about to be vampire to come along in ages. What makes it hard to protect her is the fact that her pheromones are driving every male vampire in the world mad, and it's not like she wants the attention.

That's not the only problem though. Lady Natasha, a delusional female vampire who believes herself to be Queen of all Vampires, is threatened by Solange because of a prophecy that said a female vampire born and not made would rule all vampires. Of course power hungry Lady Natasha won't just hand over her crown. One night while the girls are enjoying their last bit of summer before school begins, Solange feels the presence of her 'admirers' and tells Lucy. The 'admirers' are not looking to be gentlemanly in their courting process. Luckily, Nick (Solange's brother) is there to save them. The tension increases though when her courters attack her home, even a human who works for an agency determined to wipe out vampires is now in on the hunt. A bounty has been put upon Solange's head increasing her danger. An interesting twist occurs when the human sent to kill her starts to see that she really isn't completely a monster, but will that save her and her family from the impending doom?

Lady Storm is quite right - this book was a light read (only 248 pages) and it wasn't boring. At first I was a bit confused in the beginning of the book, I had to get used to the switching of POVs (from Lucy to Solange back to Lucy etc.) I did feel at the beginning that it would be another sappy romance story and I was pleased that it was not. That's not to say there wasn't any romance, because there was but it was in a tolerable amount (thank goodness!)

I enjoyed Lucy who seemed to be an really interesting character. Rebellious but not quite that rebellious. Her parents seemed to be of the New Age persuasion only allowing Lucy to eat tofu and calm her chi, which constantly made Lucy irritated. I would be too if I could only eat tofu and not have soda in the house ;) I also enjoyed the many plot twists towards the end of the book - just when you think you've figured it out BAM! You've been thrown a curve ball.

I early await the second book in this series.

Books in this series:

1) Hearts at Stake
2) Blood Feud (June 2010)

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey. New York (c) 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Are you there Vodka? It's Me Chelsea

According to her back inside flap, this book is "memoir and humor" but what I didn't get is the memoir part of it. There were times when I could clearly see it being a memoir type of book; she mentions being a young girl in school and being made fun of - and how she used to tell lies to become popular. But there are other parts that make me question if it's 100% a memoir - like her picking a fight with 3 Latina teenagers. That I had a hard time seeing as being real.

I don't know how her chapters worked - they didn't seem to be that cohesive in telling a story about Chelsea's life. More often than not they seemed to be by themselves with Chelsea being the only thing to tie them together.

There were some humorous parts - like the part where she mentioned that there was a little person, who was a big fan and Chelsea (who loves little people) wanted to taker her under her wings and take care of her.

I don't know how I feel about this book - it's like a sweet and sour feeling. I do want to read her other books, my friends have recommended them to me, so I hope I will like them a bit more thn this book.

Other books by Chelsea Handler:

1) My Horizontal Life: A collection of One-Night Stands
2) Are you there Vodka? It's me Chelsea
3) Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang (newly released March 9, 2010)

Official Book Club Selection: A memoir according to Kathy Griffin

This is my second memoir, and I liked it. I found it funny and entertaining from the beginning till the end. However, I had just finished Chelsea Handler's book and although it says "memoir/drama" I didn't find it funny nor believable but I'll get to her book on another post.

Kathy Griffin shares insights into her life hat might not have been seen on My Life on the D-List her Bravo TV show. She tells you about growing and only eating, sleeping, and dreaming of becoming a star. How she had to pay her 'dues' for longer than anyone else.

What I liked most about this book is that she wasn't scared to let you see into her life: from her divorce from her husband Matt, her child molesting brother Kenny, to winning her Emmys. She shares every part of her life with you.

I enjoyed that. Hollywood and everyone that seems to work in its sphere of influence, is so obsessed with portraying everything as flawless. Women have to be a size 0 and not show their age, houses have to be big and lavish. Kathy though, is the voice in Hollywood to point out how crazy they (celebrities, agents, produces/writers etc) are! She pokes fun at herself and at others. She never once pretended to be anything other than who she is and I love that.

She is an extremely hard worker, who never stops and is smart with her money. I only barely knew her from seeing commercials from My Life on the D-List and know I have a better understanding of who she is.

Official Book Club Selection: A memoir according to Kathy Griffin by Kathy Griffin. New York (c) 2009

Monday, May 10, 2010

3,4,5 Reading Challenge - Complete!!

I have just completed my first 2010 Challenge! Whoop! Being extremely lazy (I apologize) I am linking to my original post which contains my list of books, and the links to their posts. Has anyone else finished this challenge?

My Original Post.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

Ever since the return of Lord Voldemort, Harry has been avidly listening and watching the muggle news. Surely they would report something. . . anything really. Nothing though, besides the hot weather has been reported. Harry's constant obsession with the news is driving his uncle mad. After getting caught Harry decides to take a stroll, and walk off his anger.
His friends have been completely useless in their correspondence. No matter how many times Harry demands answers, the replies are always vague. On the way home Harry catches up with Dudley and decides to start a fight with him. He pulls out his wand and begins to taunt Dudley when suddenly it gets very cold and very dark. Harry starts to feel his happiness ebb away and can't believe Dementors would be lose in his neck of the woods. Suddenly Dudley starts to run for it, and unfortunately runs into one of the Dementors (well he can't see it being a muggle and all.)
Harry fights off both Dementors and takes Dudley back to the house. When he arrives his uncle and aunt are ready to kick him out. Not only is he now expelled from school, but the ministry is going to come and take away his wand. Just as Harry is about to leave a Howler arrives for Aunt Petunia and reminds her of the pack she made. She then tells Vernon that Harry will have to stay. Eventually Harry finds himself back with his old gang and in a rather gloomy house. The house, which once belonged to Sirius' mother is now the location for an order called: The Order of The Phoenix (which was once active the first time Lord Voldemort came to power).
The kids being "too young" cannot participate in any of the activities so must go about cleaning the house, but that doesn't stop George and Fred from trying to ease drop. As summer draws to a close, Harry finds himself wishing he could stay with Sirius. When Harry returns to school he is surrounded by the whispers of fellow students. For months the newspaper has been slandering both Harry and Dumbledore, telling the public at large that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is not back and that those two are full of it.
Harry's scar begins to hurt again. Surely Voldemort can't be near - they're at Hogwarts which is heavily protected. Why then does his scar hurt? On top of that, he keeps having the same dream over and over: he's running towards a black door trying to reach what's beyond the door. When he tells his friends about the dreams they draw the conclusion that he's inside Voldemort's head and that he must start to practice Occlumency if he has any hope of stopping his scare from hurting.
But it's easier said than done. With all the drama and pressure unfolding around Harry, he can't help but get swept up. Suddenly he dreams that Voldemort is torturing Sirius and Harry has to go and recuse him.

One of my least favorite books. Ever. For one, Harry irritated me on almost every single page. All of the sudden his reduced to a whinny, complaining, little pratt? But in the other 4 books he showed maturity beyond his years?! Secondly(spoiler ahead hi-light to view), WHY DID SHE HAVE TO KILL MY ONLY FAVORITE CHARACTER SIRIUS BLACK?!?!??! Thirdly, Umbridge. Ugh. I would've hated to have had a teacher like her. Although she did add comedic relief sometimes. But Harry was the most irritating thing I had to endure while I read that book. I couldn't stand how he reverted to being 3 years old. He was constantly bitting off Ron and Hermonie's head, being a selfish idiot, and kept playing the world's smallest violin for himself. NOT once did he think about anyone besides himself.
I took solace in the fact that she introduced Tonks and Luna Lovegood.

Books in this series:
5) Order of the Phoenix
6) Half-Blood Prince
7) Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (c) 2003