Friday, 8 June 2012

Books I've Read But Won't Be Reviewing (5)

It's that time again, guys! I really love doing these posts. Do you guys like them? I can never tell. Gonna do it anyway, but...yeah.

Spoilers for the How to Ruin series by Simone Elkeles will be here. Because they're sequels so the summaries are automatic spoilers. Sorry 'bout that.

Tainted By Temptation
Katy Madison
Avon
[January 25, 2011]

In this haunting, Gothic novel, Madison tells the emotional tale of a desperate woman, and a man with nothing to lose.

Which were more dangerous—his secret desires...or her own?

Cruel false gossip and scandal follow Velvet Campbell everywhere she goes in London—and for the sake of her sanity she must get away. Accepting a position as governess at an estate in remote Cornwall, Velvet hopes to start over, untainted by rumor. But she finds to her dismay that her new employer—the darkly handsome Lucian Pendar—is, himself, the subject of whispered insinuations...that he hurled his wife to her death from nearby treacherous cliffs.

But angel or demon, Lucian affects Velvet in ways she never dreamed possible, causing her heart to race, stealing the breath from her body with a look. As their mutual attraction grows, there is no resisting the passion that flares between them. Yet, as secrets from both their pasts rise to the surface, Velvet is haunted by one inescapable question: has she found a kindred spirit, her destined love...or placed herself in dire peril?

I wasn't really crazy about this one, honestly. It wasn't all that well written and I mean, come on, Velvet? You can just tell she's a Mary Sue, can't you? But, it wasn't a horrible story overall.

One Perfect Rose
Mary Jo Putney
Fawcett Books
[May 28, 1997]

Mary Jo Putney explores a sensitive, challenging subject with grace and poignancy in this story of a young duke who is told he has a fatal illness and struggles to come to terms with his imminent death ... only to be surprised by love. Stephen Kenyon, Duke of Ashburton, vowing to live fully every moment of his remaining days, sets off alone across the countryside of Regency England, feeling wonderfully liberated from his ducal duties, when he becomes caught up with the traveling Fitzgerald Theater Troupe. Soon he's treading the boards and falling in love with the acting family's cheerful, down-to-earth adopted daughter Rosalind. How Stephen and Rosalind embrace their love under such sad circumstances heightens the passion and power of their romance, while Putney skillfully avoids becoming maudlin ... and dutifully provides the requisite happy ending. Rosalind's matter-of-fact approach to life contrasts delightfully with her dramatic family's emotional excesses, while her parents' loving marriage provides a fun secondary romance.

On the other hand, I LOVED this one. It was deeper than the romances I've been reading lately and it reminded me of what they could be. Mary Jo Putney is definitely an author I'm eager to read more of, both in romance and YA.

How to Ruin My Teenage Life
Simone Elkeles
Flux
[June 1, 2007]

In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, EVERYTHING in sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson Barak's life is going wrong! Her mom got married and moved to the suburbs, and now they are going to have a baby. Amy moves in with her dad in Chicago and signs him up for an online dating service. His first four dates are that night . . . 


What else? Her dog Mutt impregnated her grumpy neighbor's prized poodle, so Amy will actually have to get a part-time job to pay for half the veterinary bill. And there's this totally annoying boy, Nathan Rubin, who just moved into her apartment building. Luckily, Amy has a cute boyfriend named Avi. Only he's more like a non-boyfriend considering Avi is in the Israeli army for the next three years. 

What's a girl to do when everyone is conspiring to ruin her life?

How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation
Simone Elkeles
Flux
[November 8, 2009]

In the third book of this bestselling series, Amy Barak-Nelson misses her boyfriend Avi, who is in the Israeli army. Her grandmother convinces Amy to sign up for two weeks in a military training base. Not her idea of fun, but what's worse? Her team leader turns out to be Avi.

So, I'm gonna talk about these two books together since their part of the same series. I really, really loved this series. Like...it's so adorable and sweet, but there's still this awesome under lying message about judgements and how we treat people and misunderstandings and I just...I really loved it. It makes me sad that of the three series Simone Elkeles has put out, this seems to be the most underrated. I haven't read the Paradise series, but I definitely like this one more than the Chemical Reaction series.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
Jenny Lawson
Putnam
[April 17, 2012]


For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris-Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.

When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.

Lawson's long-suffering husband and sweet daughter are the perfect comedic foils to her absurdities, and help her to uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments-the ones we want to pretend never happened-are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud. Like laughing at a funeral, this book is both irreverent and impossible to hold back once you get started.

This is probably the funniest book I ever read. I laughed out loud often, shared parts with my friends so they loved it. One of my friends has already gone out and read the book and, last I saw, was more than half way done. If you guys haven't picked this up, you are SO TOTALLY MISSING OUT. I will read anything Jenny Lawson puts out (and also I have to visit The Bloggess more often.)

--Julie

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