Posted in book reviews, bookit

Bookit Review: At Last

Title: At Last
Author: Barbara Bretton
Published: March 21, 2013  (Kindle Version)
Grade: C

I got this book because it had a second book in its series available on Kindle Unlimited, and this one was being offered for a time free (At the time of this writing, I believe it is still being offered free on Kindle if you are interested).  So I can’t say I really bought it, but I also didn’t get it through Kindle Unlimited as I did the next book.

My expecatations might have been a little high going into this.  I love reading second chance romances.  The main characters, Gracie Taylor and Noah Chase, were engaged as high school sweethearts, but Gracie got some news (and a secret) that made her break it off and run out of town.  Years later she returns to her hometown for her father’s wedding and runs into Noah.

The prologue takes place when Gracie leaves town, and the first chapter brings us to six year old Gracie.  Half the book is setting the scene really, telling us about their relationship up to that point.  How things were with their familes and those who they went to school with (some become important down the road).  I found this hard to get into, because I wanted to go straight to them solving their problems.

I feel that the backstory could have been shortened, or perhaps interspaced with chapters of current day.  The current day storyline seemed to be very short and resolved quicker then you would expect.

The author doesn’t seem like a bad writer.  It feels almost like she just wanted to get this story out of her head, and had more of the romance in high school then when they reunite years down the road.  Which is why I continued on to the second book in this series, and am reading another series by her.

This book is good for those who love long backstories, teen romance, or just want a fluffy romance to read.  It does have sex-scenes, but not quite as much as most romances seem to have these days.


Posted in book reviews, bookit

Bookit Review: In Twenty Years

Title: In Twenty Years: A Novel
Author: Allison Winn Scotch
Publication Date:  July 1, 2016 (Kindle Unlimited Copy)
Grade:  C

I found this book enjoyable yet…non climatic.  It tells the story of the reunion of five friends who were best friends back in college, but have since drifted away due to a variety of reasons.  They are reuniting due to a request from the sixth member of their group, who passed away 13 years ago.  She had set it up that on her fortieth birthday they would all return to the house they had lived in as college students and read letters they had written themselves back when they were graduating.

Most of this book is pointing out all the problems they all have.  It doesn’t really solve many of them, and often left me thinking half the story wasn’t told.  I feel like this was the start, and the author needs to write a sequel where some of the problems get addressed and at least on the way to solved.

I also have to admit I had a problem of remembering this is Penn College, not Penn State.  Penn College/UPenn is based in Philly and is private while Penn State is the public university supported by the State.

Posted in book reviews, bookit

Bookit Review: The Broken Hearts’ Society of Suite 17C

Title: The Broken Hearts’ Society of Suite 17C
Author: LeighAnn Kopans
Publication Date: May 22, 2015  (Kindle Unlimited Copy)
Grade: B


This was an enjoyable book, although it had some odd pacing, and it starts off slow then skips over time during the last two-thirds of the book.  The book takes place over the course of Freshmen year for three students who happen to start their year on a sour note.

Rion is your ‘tough girl’ for this particular story.  She comes from a broken home, her father died in a car accident and her mother dealt with her grief with a bottle and is in prison for a DUI.  Rion herself spent time in a group home where she met her ex-boyfriend, who happened to frame her for distributing pot (It was really him).  She ends up meeting a artist-tattoo guy and struggling with letting herself be open to that and trusting someone again.

Then there is Arielle, a Lesbian jew who comes to this particular school to be with her girlfriend – only said Girlfriend decides she is not ready to be out at school and breaks it off with her.  However she meets Lauren, who has always considered herself straight but feels something for Arielle and decides to explore that.

The final main character is Amy, a girl who was raised Southern Baptist and has to learn where she stands in her own relationship with god, as well as how to deal with her long time boyfriend deciding college is for seeing other people.  She meets Matt, a fellow Christian who helps her try to find her way.

This story deals with a lot of clichés, but I enjoyed finding the diversity of secondary characters, the fact that it included  non-hetrosexual couple, and that it had a Christian character who wasn’t painted badly.It was also nice to see a book where the three girls form a healthy friendship, there isn’t any love triangles, and underlying issues are dealt with.

The issues this book has aren’t many.  I felt like there was maybe too many social issues hit upon in a single book. It seemed to titter on the line between it being naturally addressed and it being a bit preachy on a subject.

I will however recommend this book.


Posted in book reviews, bookit, Uncategorized

Bookit Review: The House by the Lake

Title: The House By the Lake
Author: Ella Carey
Publication Date:  March 29, 2016  (Kindle Unlimited Copy)
Grade:  B

The House by the Lake by Ella Carey is interesting…but feels like someone accidentally combined two files and published it without looking.  There are two stories within.  The main story is of Anna, the granddaughter of Max Albrecht who fled Germany after the war and never talks about that period of his life. However, as a paper about an old apartment in paris (which, is actually a real thing outside of the book) being found, unopened since the owner fled Paris when Germany took the city, Max decides he needs to find some items of his past.  Anna, at first, reluctantly agrees but gets caught up in the romance of the Prussian countryside and tries to not only find the ring that Max sent her for, but find a way to help rebuild the Schloss her grandfather used to live in.

That story is interesting, and I feel like it could have been expanded, and been a novel on its own.

Story two is of Isabelle, the great love of Max’s life.  It is not so interesting, as it is basically just telling about how she met Max, that she loves him, and that she basically sits around Paris waiting for him to contact her.  I kind of wanted to skip over Isabelle’s story and get on with Anna’s story.  Especially since we don’t really find out anything useful.  At the end of the story, after Isabelle’s story ends, Anna puts all the pieces together and we find out what really happened.  It happens rather quick, and I think if we had focused on Anna’s story of discovery, the pieces could have been paced better and it wouldn’t have seems so rushed.

However, I did enjoy the novel.  If you enjoy historical romances, stories about discovering one’s past, or books based around Germany, I think you might enjoy this for a light read.

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Bookit Review: Memory of Us

Title: The Memory of Us
Author: Camille Di Maio
Publication Date: May 31st, 2016  (Kindle Unlimited copy)
Grade: A-

The Memory of Us is the debut novel from Camille Di Maio, and is quite a good one in my opinon.  The story is of Julianne Westcott, a woman growing up in Pre-war Liverpool.  Julianne falls in love with Kyle, a gardner who she meets while visiting her brother in the hospital. Kyle falls in love in return, which changes his life as he was intending to become a priest.

However the two of them have obsticles to face, from her family, the war, and her guilt over taking him away from the church.   The story is told only from her point of view, so we are limited in what we know about the motivations of those around her, or how they react to some of her choices when she decides to cut off contact with her family.

The book kept me interested through out, which I sometimes find trouble with with some of the books I’ve been getting through the KU subscription.  While it has its issues like any other book (I wish we had seen other point of views, more about her brother, and a longer epilogue) they are minor and I believe anyone who enjoys historical romances (or romance novels in general) will enjoy this book.

I am certianly putting Di Maio on my list of authors to look for in the future.

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Bookit Review: Eligible

Title: Eligible  (The Austin Project #4)
Author:  Curtis Sittenfeld
Published: April 19, 2016.  (Ebook available through Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: B-

I finally got back to my reading (I’m 10 books behind now in my planned timeline) so I have a few book reviews to do.  The first one on the list is another Pride & Prejudice related book.  This is a modern adapatation, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (Goodreads).

I was a bit mixed on what grade to give this one.  I did enjoy as it started out, although the idea of the reality show aspect was a bit odd.  In this novel, Charles Bingley becomes Chip, a ER doctor who decides to take part in a reality matchmaking show (ala The Bachelor) after being convinced by his sister Caroline.  Darcy, also a Doctor, convinces him to come work in Columbus Ohio with him.

Jane & Lizzie are somewhat styled as the more adult of the sisters like in the original material, although Jane is trying for a baby via IVF and Lizzie has a ongoing affair with Jasper (who is the George Wickam of this story).

On one hand I was happy to see Kitty and Mary, often forgotten or made into cousins/pets in other modern variation, developed into characters with a firmer personality.  I think the writer was a bit harsh with Mary though.  Lydia as well was developed and I actually like the way they changed her, although she still has that callous way of dealing with her sisters.  Kitty has her own personality and isn’t just seen as Lydia’s partner in crime.

There are some awkward changes though.  Darcy’s and Lizzie’s relationship is a little less romantic then it tends to be in other adaptations.  And the end, while happy for everyone, seems almost sudden, like there is some missing steps inbetween the rest of the book.

That being said, if you enjoy P&P variations or adaptations, this is worth a try.  I’m going to give it a B-.  While the ending is a little odd with the characters, this book does a good job in developing minor characters.  It does emphaisis some characteristics in the antagonists of Caroline and Wickham that I’m not sure are necessary, but it works within the story.

I am considering reading some of the other books in the Austen Project.  As far as I know there are four books total, all modern retellings of Austen’s books.

Posted in Art, bookit, general, writing

July Goals

Its that time of the month again where I go over my goals sheet from the start of the month, see if I accomplished anything I set out to do, and start to make a new goal sheet for the next month.  I’m posting some of them here to basically feel more accountable for them since other people know of them.

THis month didn’t go so well as I ended up not doing ANY of my goals.  So many of July’s goals will be roll overs as I try once again to accomplish them.

Assisting me this month as far as writing is Camp Nano, which I talked about last night so hopefully I will actually achieve the 50,000 word goal for the month.  This should also help me with my goal to catch up with the drabble prompts from a challenge I am doing.  I also hope to finish alot of various fics.

And now t hat recap of last night’s post is over, I also am rolling over some health goals.  I want to reduce my sugar intake (less pop, resist the temptation that is 99 cent cake slices) and also start doing pilates regularly to perhaps ease some of my back pain and help me be healthier.  Maybe start using my phone health app a bit more regularly to track my meals to see what exactly I am eating.  (A good bet is not enough of the right stuff, too much of the yummy but not good stuff)

I also plan on continuing to try daily drawing goals, and to take classes on Lynda to assit me in bringing back my motiavation and actual follow through with graphic design.  I feel like my artistic muscles are atrophying.

I also hope to update a few of my websites that I run, try and get them spruced up.  Partispate more in my creative online communities, and read a few more books.  I’m at the halfway mark for my goal I think (either 25 or 26, I need to check my record), but I need to keep up with the reading because not only is it a relaxing activity for me and helps me keep my stress levels within dealable boundries but also because I’m determined to reach that goal this year.

I’ve got Hunger Games queued up next (among the other 5 books I’m in the process of reading). I’ve already read it, so I’m not sure if I’m going to review it, but I might make some Hunger Game themed posts as I read through the series.  One you might see this month is a post on my changing thoughts about Gale Hawthorne.

And maybe I’ll start posting that rewatch series of Gilmore Girls since the new season is approaching.  (I’m excited yet afraid…)



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Bookit Review: The Cinderella Arrangement II

Title: The Cinderella Arrangement II*
Author: Vanessa Waltz
Release Date: May 2016*

*Apparently this book is actually two books being re-released as one.  I can’t find release dates for the original versions, and they aren’t listed as seperate anywhere I can find other then the introduction to this ebook.  Part One is located here.

My Review:

The second novella in this book was much better with follow through and character development then its predecessor but still made me think a good editor would have been handly.

Also she seemed to skip time in bits so it was sometimes startling to go from one scene to another, and noticing that some time had gone missing.  Sometimes it was explained away with a summery of what had happened in between but sometimes there was no explination.

However, it was not bad, just a little rough.  I think a good editor and perhaps some more attention to character development will make this book a good lazy sunday read.

Posted in book reviews, bookit

Bookit Review: The Cinderella Arrangement

Title: The Cinderella Arrangement*
Author: Vanessa Waltz
Release Date: May 2016*

*Apparently this book is actually two books being re-released as one.  I haven’t finished the second book, but I’ve decided to do a review for each one.  I can’t find release dates for the original versions, and they aren’t listed as seperate anywhere I can find other then the introduction to this ebook.

My Review:

I feel as if this novel had a lot of potiential but was finished before they got to it.  There were so many subplots that never got dealt with. In particular the main character Jessica’s past.  The author referenced it alot in the start.  Enough that I expected that there would be some input from that yet it was never fully developed.  Neither was Ethan (the love interest)’s family situation either.  We of course know he has a bad relationship with his father, but its never really dealt with well, and I was left just plan confused as to what was going on with the Uncle and the Cousins.  I felt like I was watching a movie and got up to go to the bathroom during important bits and missed the context.

So instead of it being a good story, it instead seems like everything is happening rather suddenly,and on the surface. It feels, frankly, like a first draft that needs someone to go over it and point out where it needs filled out.

I’m going to read the sequel, which is about Natalie, Jessica’s Best friend, and see how that turns out before I give the series a letter grade.  I’m hoping that there is more character development and not just hitting the romance novel checklist.

Posted in book reviews, bookit

Bookit Review: Shadows Over Longbourn

Title:  Shadows over Longbourn
Author: Jann Rowland
Publication Date:  April 8, 2016

My Grade:  B-

Once again, I found another intriguing Pride & Prejudice Veriation.  In the case of this novel, Elizabeth’s father Mr. Bennet dies before any of his daughters are married, but before he does he manage to convince distant relative Darcy to take in his daughters so they aren’t left to his cousin Thaddeus (father of our familar Mr. Collins).

This novel is not a bad one, although I find the opening sequence of events hard to connect to the original material.  Match of the characters remain the same, although Mary ends up more outspoken, and Lydia more aware (although not by much).  Instead of Wickham, who appears only briefly, the main villian is the elder Mr. Collins.  Its an alright story if taken by itself, although I don’t think it works as a strong variation of Pride & Prejudice.  However, it is one of the better ones I have read, and at least stands in the vicinity of what the original materal gives.

Its major issue is not the content, but the formating.  I feel as if the novel could have used a run or two through the editor’s pen before it was published.  Often the story would change POV without a clear distinction like some empty space or a character line.  There were a few other mistakes that could have been caught by an editor.  This didn’t make the story unbearable, but was something that was noticable.