Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell

Summary (via the author's website): "Poppy Dunbar is out on her hen night when she meets Tom Kennedy. With his dark eyes and quirky smile, he could lure any girl off the straight and narrow, but what really draws Poppy to him is the feeling that she’s known him all her life. She can’t go through with the meeting they arrange – but she can’t go through with the wedding either. Suddenly notorious as ‘The Girl Who Jilted Rob Macbride’, Poppy moves to London. Soon she’s installed in the bohemian household of Caspar French, a ravishingly good-looking young artist with a reputation for breaking hearts. But even in her colourful new home, Poppy can’t get Tom off her mind. Until she’s tracked him down, she’ll never know if their meeting was destiny – or if the future holds something entirely different for her…"

Review: So... super predictable, and less funny than Millie's Fling. But still riveting, so that's good. 

The main romance was pretty believable (except for the very end... um, seriously?), and the peripheral one was, too, although it was slightly cliche.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, nook-adult 



Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell

Summary (via Goodreads): "Bestselling novelist Orla Hart owes her life to her friend Millie Brady, whose rotten boyfriend has just left her. So Orla invites Millie to Cornwall, where Millie looks forward to a summer without any dating whatsoever. But Orla envisions Millie as the heroine of her next novel and decides to find Millie the man of her dreams. Except the two women have drastically different ideas about what kind of guy that should be.

With Orla and Millie working at cross-purposes, and a dashing but bewildered hero stuck in the middle, the summer will turn out to be unforgettable for all concerned..."

Review: Fer cute! In fact, this book was stinkin' cute.
Predictable, maybe. Maybe a little. But the people actually had personalities! They totally did! The banter was actually WITTY - hallelujah!

I was slightly surprised - my favorite character turned out to be Lucas. And Con. :)

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, nook-adult


Boston Jane: The Claim by Jennifer Holm

Summary (via the author's website): "With a mind of her own and a handsome suitor who loves her for it, seventeen-year-old Jane Peck is the darling of the Washington Territory. She's outwitted wild animals, vengeful ghosts, and a disloyal fiancé, but when her finishing school nemesis Sally Biddle invades Shoalwater Bay, Jane discovers that the most dangerous thing on the frontier may be an impeccably dressed debutante. As the Biddles of Philadelphia charm their way into Jane's close-knit community, she finds everything she holds dear threatened -- including her true love, a rakish sailor named Jehu. Will Jane's claim on happiness slip away?

This third book of the richly historical Boston Jane trilogy carries on the tradition of rip-roaring romance and adventure that began with Boston Jane: An Adventure and Boston Jane: Wilderness Days. Jane has survived the wilderness and claimed herself a home, but her frontier trials are far from over. It will take all of the spunk and spit Jane can muster to protect her land and preserve her dreams."

Review: I liked the role reversal. In Wilderness Days, Jane wouldn't believe the people around her who knew better and kept trying to warn her and give her advice. But in The Claim, Jane actually knows better than the people who won't believe her. It made me sad and frustrated, to see her so helpless and with so few options, but I love that she stayed strong and spunky.

I feel like she was more mature in this book, which I love. It makes sense to me that she would have done a lot of growing up in the last year(?) or so, since she's all alone and stuff.

I hope that Sally Biddle (aka Nellie Olson... anyone?) becomes a nice person some day. She's the kind of person who should use her powers for good, not evil.

Good, strong ending to an awesome series. I wish there were more. :)

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman



How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle

Summary (via goodreads): "Vicks is the wild child whose boyfriend has gone suspiciously quiet since he left for college; Mel is the newcomer desperate to be liked; and Jesse will do anything to avoid a life-altering secret. Each one has her own reason for wanting to get the heck out of their nowheresville town, even just for the weekend. So they climb into Jesse's mom's "borrowed" station wagon and head south.

Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything."

Review: I've been trying to find this book ever since I decided to read all of E. Lockhart's teen books. (Which I now have.) And it's funny, because one week I find it sitting there at the library, and the NEXT week the NookBook shows up for 1.99! (That promotion might still be going on, by the way. Go look.) So... it's pretty much fate.

I REALLY liked this book. The emotions and the characters were super real, including the misunderstanding about trying to hook up with a guy while drunk, not knowing why her boyfriend didn't call, and putting on a show instead of telling everyone what's wrong.

It was interesting knowing Jesse's secret before the other girls, who didn't find out until the end.

I liked when Mel started playing the Be Assertive card, because until then she was in danger of falling into Little Sister territory.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, nook-ya, thought-provoking



Boston Jane: Wilderness Days by Jennifer L. Holm

Summary (via the author's website): "Abandoned on the frontier by her faithless fiancé, Jane Peck prepares to head home, only to learn that the Philadelphia life she once knew is no more. But can a proper young lady find happiness as the only woman in a primitive pioneer settlement? Armed with only a finishing-school education and her natural determination, Jane must endure life with her flea-bitten landlord, a perilous manhunt, and the traps and hazards of a blossoming romance.

Will Jane survive the challenges of the wild, uncharted frontiers of friendship, love, and the Washington Territory?"

Review: So... I take issue with people in books not seeing things that are obvious to me. But maybe I'm being unreasonable. So let's look at this in bullet-point fashion.-I understood from early in book 1 that Jane's father was dying. But maybe Jane was too wrapped up in herself to see the glaringly obvious clues that I saw.
-Also, there wasn't a super convenient time in book 1 to introduce that information to Jane, something that... kind of bothers me.
-But it WAS a plot point in book 2 (kind of a big one, actually), so it's good that she got the letter in book 2.
-Is the death of Mr. Peck supposed to be a huge surprise to the reader? I'm inclined to say no.

Ok, now I've worked through that. Thanks for bearing with me, everyone.

The other thing I take issue with is the mid-book, "I LOVE him! I just never realized it until now!" Except it's more of a "Hey, everyone doesn't hate me! I just never realized it until now!" Also, until Jehu pointed it out, I didn't realize Jane complained so much. But she does, and that kind of got on my nerves.

Sidenote that has nothing to do with anything: I keep pronouncing it "Jeju," because "Jehu" just doesn't work for my mind. Jeju Island, if you were wondering, is an island in South Korea.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman



Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Summary (via the author's website): "In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive."

What I liked:
-He drove the "how to resolve the abortion debate" issue to it's scariest possible conclusion - which is how good dystopia is often created (The Hunger Games, for instance, does that with reality TV).
-All the people willing to help the Unwinds - even in a dark book, Shusterman still holds out hope for humanity. The future may be stormy, but at least there's a little sunshine here and there.
-It's always fun to get inside the heads of kids who are so-called "troublemakers."
-Those kids were really smart. Love it.

What I didn't like:
-Connor's transformation from "can't stay out of fights" to having amazing self control happened a little fast, for my taste.
-Lev's deprogramming/reprogramming was fast, too... especially since he's 13.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, thought-provoking



Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

Summary (via the author's website): "Working for her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, Stephanie is hot on the trail of revenge-seeking waitress Maxine Nowicki, whose crimes include bail jumping, theft, and extortion. Someone is terrifying Maxine's friends, and those who have seen her are turning up dead. Also on the hunt for Maxine is Joyce Barnhardt, Stephanie's archenemy and rival bounty hunter. Stephanie's attitude never wavers - even when aided by Grandma Mazur, ex-hooker and wannabe bounty hunter Lula, and transvestite rock musician Sally Sweet - and even when Stephanie makes an enemy whose deadly tactics escalate from threatening messages to firebombs. All of this pales in comparison, though, with an even greater danger Stephanie faces, when, homeless and broke, she and her hamster Rex move in with vice cop Joe Morelli."

Review: Not a lot to say on this one. Pretty funny. Light, breezy read. I might pick up a few more in the series... but I'm not sure. There was a lot of language.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, nook-adult



Savvy by Ingrid Law

Summary (via the author's website): "Mibs Beaumont is about to become a teenager. As if that weren’t scary enough, thirteen is when a Beaumont’s savvy strikes--and with one brother who causes hurricanes and another who creates electricity, it promises to be outrageous... and positively thrilling.

But just before her big day, Poppa is in a terrible accident. Suddenly, Mibs’s dreams of X-ray vision disappear like a flash of her brother’s lightning: All she wants now is a savvy that will save Poppa. In fact, Mibs is so sure she’ll get that powerful savvy that she sneaks a ride to the hospital on a rickety bus, with her siblings and the preacher’s kids in tow. But when the bus starts heading in the wrong direction only one thing is certain: After this extraordinary adventure, not a soul on board will ever be the same."

Review: I admit it: I cried. In fact, I was on an airplane and I cried. The guy next to me must have thought I was seriously nuts, no joke. Because I really really cried.

Have you read Walk Two Moons? This book reminded me of it a lot. Mixed with, I dunno... X-men.

Although it almost fails the First-person narrator book test of "can I remember the main character's name." It's... Mibs. But I might forget that in a week or two.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, thought-provoking



Boston Jane by Jennifer Holm

Summary (via the author's website): "Sixteen-year-old Jane Peck has ventured to the unknown wilds of the Northwest to wed her childhood idol, William Baldt. But her impeccable training at Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy in Philadelphia is hardly preparation for the colorful characters and crude life that await her in Washington Territory.

Thrown upon her wits in the wild, Jane must determine for herself whether she is truly proper Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia, faultless young lady and fiancée, or Boston Jane, as the Chinook dub her, fearless and loyal woman of the frontier."

Review: Fer cute! Jane is all sorts of awesome - love that.

I love that Jane actually has a personality - she's crazy stubborn, but always tries to do the right thing. I got kind of annoyed with her in the beginning, like everyone around her, but I also am totally on board with her goals to change herself (is that bad?). I like that she was able to take the gumption she needed and find someone to teach her about being polite and stuff - things she would have learned if she'd had a maternal influence in her life. I think her mother would have taught her about the compromises that come with all the etiquette she learned, though -- still speaking her mind to her father, but knowing how to act in company, as it were.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, thought-provoking



13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Summary (via the author's website): "Here’s the deal: Aunt Peg, the New York artist and the person Ginny Blackstone depended on to make her life interesting, took off to Europe without a word three years ago. Aside from a few postcards, Ginny hasn’t heard much. Then she gets a horrible phone call that changes everything.

But the story is only beginning. Soon after, Ginny receives one little blue envelope from Aunt Peg containing a thousand dollars and some very strange instructions…

And with that, she is sent off to pick up a package containing twelve similar envelopes, which she can open one by one, as instructed. Each letter contains a task that Ginny must perform.

Soon, the mild-mannered and quiet Ginny (who’s barely made it out of New Jersey before) finds herself running from London to Paris to Rome, and beyond. Along the way, she collects a number of new friends, including: a manager from Harrods department store who runs errands for the rich and famous, a handsome but maddening thief-turned-playwright, a celebrity painter who tattoos the names of her dead pets on her body, and the angriest vegetable salesman in all of France.

As time goes on, Ginny realizes that her aunt has sent her on a mission, and that there is something big waiting for her in the thirteenth envelope. All she has to do is make it from place to place and complete all of the tasks that have been set before her.

As if life is that easy."

Review: So now I understand why Maureen Johnson is considered one of the Queens of YA. And now I have to read all of her books.

What I liked:
-Seeing Ginny come out of herself and learn to do new things. She stayed true to her personality, so it was still realistic, but she managed to make some pretty exciting things happen in her life. And I liked that.
-Keith. He was a pretty cool dude.
-Aunt Peg's personality really came through the letters. You could understand what she was all about, some.
-Um, that whole Amsterdam thing was just funny.
-In fact, a lot of the book made me laugh.

What I didn't like:
-I... can't really think of anything. I'm trying to even think of a plot point that was predictable, and maybe it's just the fact that I'm SUPER-oblivious when I read, but I didn't really see any of it coming. So way to go, Maureen Johnson!

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, nook-ya



Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Summary (via Goodreads): "17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.

Review: So there's a game I like to play, at movies. At the end of the movie, I like to announce how long the two love interests have known each other. For instance, at the end of this book, they've known each other for a week and a half.

Seriously?? And they're already, like, in LOVE? I guess that's what happens when you're 17...

Timing aside, their relationship was cute. Lesley Livingston kept him from being too Edward-ish, by pointing out his slightly creepy and stalker-like behavior -- to him, so he could change.

The plot was a little predictable, as is the nature of "Central Park is the gate to fairieland"-type books. But the only plot point that came as a genuine, "I expect the reader to be surprised about this, too" point was one I'd actually been guessing about. All the rest were hinted at to the point that the characters were surprised, but Livingston didn't necessarily expect the reader to be, too. So that was good.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, funny, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman



His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

Summary (via Goodreads): "Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future–and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire."

Review: With this one, I'm gonna go with... Horatio Hornblower With Dragons.

I really liked Laurence. AND Temeraire. And the way they were together... so cute! Um... as it were. So, y'know. Manly.

I liked the way girls were treated in the story. You can tell it was written from a modern perspective, because there were female aviators and little girls were (runners? I forget what they're called...) around too. But I liked the paradigm shift that Laurence went through, when he had to learn to respect women as capable military officers, and not just coddle them like little dolls.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, my-kind-of-woman


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