Monday, September 24, 2012

[Book Review] Holding Out For A Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel

Summary (from Amazon):
Kelsie Newman meets the man of her dreams at the beginning of a really, really bad day, so excuse her for not recognizing him. Good thing she's a smart girl and a quick learner. When he rescues her from her Good Samaritan act gone bad later that same day, she doesn't make the same mistake twice.

If you’ve been following my last couple of book reviews, you know that I’m trying to reach the highest number in my “books read in 2012” list, but with school, that’s proven to be kind of difficult. So, if I find a short story that looks like it’s good and won’t take up much of my time, I’ll download it.

Plot: Words cannot express how much I loved this story. I felt like this was just the read I needed for my current mood. Similar to the main character, I tend to be negative about every little thing I see, but luckily that is all changed halfway through the short story. Kelsie, the main character, begins to see things differently and not taking even the smallest things for granted. I read this at the beginning of the week, on a Monday to be exact. So, I feel like this is the positive attitude for the next following week and hopefully for more time after that.   

Characters:I’ve gotten to that point in writing where I don’t expect to grow too attached to characters. A lot of the books that I’ve started (and never finished) have caused me to do that. But being that this was a one sitting book, I felt a better connection to the characters. I even found myself relating to Kelsie on more than one occasion. How the heck the author managed to do that in such a short passage, amazes me.

Romance: Sometimes second chances make for a better introduction. I love how the author shows that you don’t always make the first impression, but that doesn’t mean that it’s over.

Creative way of writing: Like I said before, the author has an amazing way of making the audience (or at least me) relate to the characters. She also did a wonderful job of putting a lot of themes in her story to hopefully improve someone’s way of looking at life. It almost feels like I was reading a feel good inspirational story, if truth be told.

Blogger’s Note: This is free on Amazon right now. I don’t know how long this will last so check it out!

5 out of 5 stars to Holding Out For A Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel

Saturday, September 22, 2012

[Book Review] Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Summary (from Amazon):
A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light. Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squads. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.

I should start by saying that even if you’re not a fan of Castle, the television series, you can still pick up “Richard Castle’s” books and find them interesting. There might be a few insiders, such as the end acknowledgements that non fans would not completely get grasp of, but seemingly, that’s not important. However, being that I am a fan of the tv series, I was a bit disappointed, but I’m hoping the other books that follow in this series make up for it.

Plot: It very well felt like an episode of Castle. And if you’re unfamiliar with Castle, think any other murder investigation show. Someone is killed. Detectives go to investigate and solve the murder. Except one detective isn’t going in alone considering she has a reporter following her around for research. Together they work to solve the murder.

Characters: Similar to episodes of Castle, and again I kind of feel like I have to compare it to the show since these books are supposed to be written by a fiction character on Castle, we find out about the characters as the story progressives. Each character sort of has a backstory. Some backstories are revealed more than others. I really hope that these backstories are presented in the future books. It should definitely add more plot to the books if that’s the case.

Relationships: I think one thing that I like more in the books than I do on the show is the playfulness and sarcasm of the detectives with each other. While Castle, the show, has great writing, I personally favored the way these characters were constant at each other’s throats with snarky comments.

Romance: One of the things I really loved about the romance aspect in Heat Wave is that the author, Richard Castle, makes it seem like Nikki Heat is the one in major heat for Jameson Rook. That seems like something Richard Castle, the character in the TV series, would do. Anyone who watches the show knows that Rick is always the one who is pursuing Kate with his flirty comments. Oh, and I could totally see Kate confronting him on making the character based on her all hot for the character that is based on him. Well, maybe in the earlier seasons which is when the book was written.

Writing: One thing that I liked is that the author jumps from scene to scene. I’m not really a huge fan of two page color descriptions and in Heat Wave, I don’t have to worry about that at all. This book is very fast paced and almost passes you by.

3 out of 5 stars to Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Thursday, September 20, 2012

[TV Thursday] What shows are you looking forward to this 2012-2013 season?

Well, it’s finally that time again. Our shows are coming back. While some networks (looks at CW with mad killer eyes) won’t be starting their shows up again until October, most will be back later this month. If you’re anything like me, I don’t like waiting. I don’t want promo pictures. I don’t want trailers. I don’t want one minute sneak peeks. I want the real thing. I want my shows back.  


My TV Schedule:
Once Upon A Time – Wasn’t expecting that ending they gave us for the season one finale so I’m looking forward to the next season and looking forward to the direction they will be taking the main characters now that they know the big secret.
Bones – I watched the premiere on Monday like everyone else. There were definitely the twists that I wasn’t expecting that I’m hoping lead to backstabbing and drama. (I love drama)
How I Met Your Mother – Robin. Barney. Wedding. Hello! I want to see how they get to that point. It shall be an interesting season, hopefully.
Castle* - “All I want is you.” I just… I’m waiting for Monday to be here already. I can’t wait to see Castle and Beckett interact as a secret couple.
Nikita* - I just really know what Alex’s answer is to Sean’s date question. Oh, and I want to see them go on the date.
The Vampire Diaries* - There are so many things that the finale left open, so many cliffhanger. Elena as a vampire. Klaus + Tyler = Klyer? This has to be one of the best shows on air right now. Definitely has something for everyone to enjoy.
Switched At Birth – While I am about an episode behind, I have to say that the back end of episodes almost feels like a different show. And not in a bad way. The writers have done a great job of keeping things fresh. I may not agree with everything they are making the characters do, but I can recognize good writing when I see it. 
Glee – Just when I was ready to give up on this show for the 3 time, it has to go and have an AMAZING season 4 premiere. Similar to Switch At Birth, Glee feels like a new show. Half of the show is in high school, the other half in a college? Yeah, I’ll sign up for it.
New Pilots that I am more than likely going to give a shot:
Beauty and the Beast* - Although I wasn’t a fan of her character on Smallville, I love Kristin Kreuk’s work. So, I’ll definitely be tuning in.
Emily Owens – Justin Hartley, please have some shirtless scenes. That is all.
Arrow – Partly giving this a shot because of my love for Smallville’s GA. Otherwise, I would be looking the other way.
Revolution* - Dang it! I missed the premiere! Let’s blame school again.
Nashville - I’m a sucker for musical shows… sometimes.
666 Park Avenue – Looks like an odd collaboration of cast, but that’s exactly what’s pulling me in.

“*” means I am on the edge of my seat waiting for them to be back.


So, what’s your TV schedule look like? What shows are you guys looking forward to? Comment below. If there’s a show out there that you’re absoulutely in love with, here’s your chance to try to make a new fan of the show.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[Book Review] Cat Calls Cynthia Leitich Smith (free Kindle book)

If you’re looking for a free, quick read that will entertain you for a half hour (depending on how fast you read), this is one to read. I myself was looking for a read that wouldn’t take a lot of time and was another book I could add to my list (50 books in one year). With school, I don’t have as much time to read as I did before, but I always want to use my mind in that area. So, it really worked out for me.

Though I cannot go into detail about characters, plot, romance, and the normal stuff I would mention because this story runs very briefly, I can say that I did enjoy what the story had to bring. Over the last couple of weeks (ok, maybe months), I’ve learned I love short stories for the very reason that they have everything a big, lengthy novel has, but in a minimal size.

One of the things I liked about this story was that it felt like the main character’s (Tiffany) journey was just beginning. Which could mean that this could be a prequel of some sort. I’m not exactly sure if that’s what the author has in mind or if these books have already been published. However, while I like that the ending opens up opportunity for future stories for Tiffany, it also stands as a standalone beautifully. In this story there’s a beginning, middle, and end. There are several unanswered questions left, but that’s where the reader’s imagination comes in.

So, if you have a Kindle (or like myself, a Kindle app), my advice is go download this short story. You won’t regret it. It’s free, what else could you possibly want?  

Last minute blogger’s note: I just looked at the story description and I guess there are more books to this series. Not quite sure, but I guess I’ll do some research.

4 out of 5 stars for Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith