zondag 23 februari 2014

Review "The Trouble with Valentine's Day"

Some information

Title: The Trouble with Valentine's Day
Author: Rachel Gibson
Pages: 368
Published: January 2005
Publisher: Avon
My Scource: gift
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars


Dumped by her boyfriend, stressed out by her job, Kate Hamilton needs to regroup and get back some self-esteem. She moves from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the wilderness of Gospel, Idaho for some small-town fun. But when her first attempted seduction of a hunky stranger is completely rejected, she wonders what else could possibly go wrong?

Well, for starters she quickly realizes that the Mountain Mama Crafters Original Poetry reading is about as good as it gets on a Friday night. Then she comes face to face with Rob Sutter, former ice hockey madman, owner of Sutter's Sports—and the hunky stranger who told her to get lost!

Rob's been more than burned by love—but then he and Kate find themselves in an ultra-compromising position in the M & S Market after-hours, giveing the phrase "clean-up in aisle five" a whole new meaning, and cause a whole lot of gossip in Gospel...

My short review

I don't know if this book is my favorite written by Rachel Gibson, but I liked it a lot! The characters in "The troube with Valentine's Day" are really great and very credible. The story is written in a way you keep on wondering what will happen even though you secretly know how it will all end. I never get tired of reading Gibsons books. In every single one of them the same things happen againts a slightly different background, but that doesn't matter. She knows how to keep her readers entertained and that's all I need in a chick lit book. Loved it and hope you'll love it too. I can't wait to start the other books in this series...

maandag 17 februari 2014

Review "Playing the Part"

Some information

Title: Playing the Part
Author: Darcy Daniel
Pages: 179
Published: February 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
My scource: The author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars!


Anthea Cane is a successful actress—well, action star. Her films are mostly about how hot she looks silhouetted by fiery explosions. But Anthea is determined to prove she's more than just a body. With the role of a lifetime up for grabs—a serious adaptation of her favorite novel—Anthea sets off to her small hometown in the name of research.

Cole Daniel is a blind farmer with no patience for divas, especially one who mercilessly teased him as a young boy. When Anthea shows up using a fake name and pestering him into letting her stay, he can't pass up the opportunity to torment her just a little.

But Anthea won't let the stubborn farmer deter her from her goal, even if he is hotter than any man she's ever met. Cole finds his form of payback less than satisfying when Anthea keeps turning the tables on him, proving her mettle and gaining his respect. Will Anthea's research land her a man, as well as the part?

My review

When I pick up a chick lit book I always hope to find another kind of story. Something I didn't already read in four different books with different characters in the same situation. Darcy Daniel did a great job writing "Playing the Part". She managed to offer her readers a beautiful and sweet story without repeating one. Her characters were very real to me and I really loved them though they weren't always shining and on their best behaviour.

In this book we meet Anthea, a movie star without big roles behind her name. She's only asked for action movies where her looks can be used. For a long time she just didn't care about this, but when she wants a role in a movie adaptation of her (passed away) mothers favorite book and nobody believes she can do it, she starts to reconsider her career. Is this everything her life will ever be? Are people only "liking" her because of how she looks? Don't they believe she has some kind of depth? Apparantly not and this bothers Anthea above anything. 
She decides to demand an audition for the role and to do some research. The movie she wants to play in "The Farmers wife" is set in the country. Where would she do her research best? In Mayfield, the town she lived in when she was younger. 
In this town she meets Cole, a handsome, blind farmer she bullied in school. Thing is Anthea needs him to do her research. He's a farmer and she needs to know what it feels like to be a farmers wife... Would be great if she could use him or euhm "work together" with him... Because she knows Cole wouldn't welcome her with open arms, she invents a fake name and lies to him... Luckily these lies can't keep her from falling in love with him... madly... 

In this book you see the evolution of two people who dislike each other a lot to two people who want to care for and love each other 'till eternity... Darcy Daniel describes the feelings of these characters very very well and gives you the feeling you're out there in the field too. I also liked the sometimes detailed descriptions of little things in life. This made me connect even more with Cole. For this blind man, details are very important. Even the once superficial Anthea starts to get this and she learns to appreciate the little things in life. She completely transforms from a selfish star to a loving and caring woman who puts Cole in the first place. 

This really is a story that makes you smile. For me it might have been a little longer ;) I read it in one day and regretted that it came to an end...

Review "Suicide Game"

Some information

Title: Suicide Game
Author: Haidji
Pages: 358
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Createspace
My scource: Author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars


Eight thousand candidates sign up for the Suicide Game. Only one can win. Their destination: the Night Stadium, a place of makeup and music, fear and adrenaline, blood and romance, celebration and death.
Each candidate has his or her own reason for entering the Game. The Council runs the Game. The outcome of the Game is left to fate...in the laps of the gods. The candidates will jump to their deaths in order to win everything, before capacity crowds in the Stadium. The public follows every jump, live on TV and on their mobile screens, choosing their favorite candidates and betting on their lives. 
The Game’s community also includes geeks, mafia, makeup artists, master chefs, models, musicians, ordinary workers, spies, terrorists, and many others. SG - Suicide Game is the story of the candidates’ journey. It boldly imagines a place where death and denial are interwoven with hope, choices and the innate desire for happiness. Impressive in the totality of its vision, it is an exploration of the best and worst things in our lives, nightmares and especially, our dreams.

My review

Strange title, strange story, not my genre at all,... I didn't think I would like this book the way I did. Can't say I completely changed my mind. For me, it's still a strange book with a very odd theme. On the other hand I believe it could be refreshing to read this kind of story. A book about a Game where people choose to commit suicide before the eyes of thousands of people is one of a kind. It's possible you're offended by this story, but author Haidji dares to write it down for us and we should appreciate that!

It's not because the author dared to write this kind of story I gave "Suicide Game" 4 stars. It's because of the messages hidden in the book. Haidji shows us some people who were let down by society. People who don't want to live anymore or are prepared to offer their lives for others. Second of all I liked the writing style. Though this was not my genre at all, I wanted to know what would happen next and kept on reading. It's a style that drags you along. 
One thing I didn't like was the repeated "intro" of the Game. Every step of the Game a hostess cheers on the people who are ready to jump and at the same time she tries to spread enthusiasm. Every step of the Game is consequently accompanied by the exact same words and this started to bother me after a while. 
Another thing I would have changed if I could was the Game itself. This Suicide Game could be called "Jump Game" too. There isn't much variation in the way the contestants test their luck.

Suicide Game puts you to thinking about our society. What if... ? What if this kind of Games where people commit suicide to entertain others would be accepted in our world? I think I would be indignant! In this Game the public pays a lot of money to see people die. They bet on who's going to survive and who isn't. They buy T-shirts with the Suicide Game symbol on them, eat suicide dogs, clap when big groups of people face death,... It's horrific! The contradiction in this game is that after a while the public starts to care for the contestants. They don't want their favorites to die, they cry when they see who's behind the candidate. A human being of flesh and blood. The public starts to realise they could be on the other side of the Game too. Maybe one day they will wake up disappointed in society too or they will see they have nobody in their life to rely on... That's the day they could enter the Suicide Game too and when that day arrives they wouldn't be clapping during every jump. They would be scared... 

I hope that everybody who's willing to read this book will start to think about it like I did and love it.