Monday, January 9, 2017

HALF A CHANCE by Cynthia Lord (Adult & Young Reader review included)

It was unknown to my ten year old son when he picked up this book that I had taken four years of photography in school and had majored in the subject for three years in college.  Therefore, when the girl started talking about backgrounds, subjects, lighting and F-stops, it was easy for me to follow right along with her.
Here’s the third book in our Mother – Son Book Club!

“I’m here. Where are you?”     ~    “I’m here!”

HALF A CHANCE by Cynthia Lord

2016 Mark Twain Nominee


When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her -- he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to enter anonymously. She wants to find out if her eye for photography is really special -- or only good enough.

As she seeks out subjects for her photos, Lucy gets to know Nate, the boy next door. But slowly the camera reveals what Nate doesn't want to see: his grandmother's memory is slipping away, and with it much of what he cherishes about his summers on the lake. This summer, Nate will learn about the power of art to show truth. And Lucy will learn how beauty can change lives . . . including her own.


2.5 out of 5 *Stars*

I have to be completely honest here… I don’t believe there was anything about this book that will stay with me.  It was a quick and easy read, I’ll give it that, but it lacked the emotion that I like to feel when being drawn into a new book.
It centered on a girl, Lucy, who was desperate for more love and attention from her father.  So desperate that she entered a photography contest that was being judged by him, so he could see how truly good she was.  In turn, he would find her more fascinating than the things that kept pulling him away across the world.  
Teamed up with new neighbors that quickly become her friends, she checks off all the topics for the photography scavenger hunt, each chapter being labeled a certain category, and ends up learning more about life, sorrow and the ordinary beauty that surrounds us every day.    
“Even in the midst of horrible things, there are little bits of wonder, and all of its true.”
By the end of the book, after Lucy helped a family of loons as well as getting to know Grandma Lilah and her family, Lucy understood exactly what her father meant when he spoke those words.
With this book heavily dipped into the world of photography, you can only imagine how descriptive the scenes became.  As Lucy positioned her camera for a shot, she took into count the lighting, the background, the subject, the smell, and the overall feeling the picture brought forth in people.  This book captured all of that, and made it easily flow.  I never felt like a scene ran on too long to incorporate all of the information.
It was the plot that had me so unengaged. I know that there was supposed to be a profound message, and I got the meaning, but I had to dig deep to find it.  The story focused so much on the photography aspect and not enough on the emotion and action behind the camera.  It’s no surprise if someone believed that’s all the book had to offer; shutter speeds and backlighting…

************************* Young Reader Review ***************************

There’s not too much I have to say about this book.  I had a hard time connecting with it because of how much it talked about the photography.  I didn’t understand why it had to be like that because it made me lose track of what was going on with the characters. 

However I did like when they went to go visit the loons. It felt as if I was right there with them.  However, because of this, the part that I disliked the most ALSO included the loons. I won’t give anything away, but I will just say that it’s sad. 

I’m not sure that I liked the book too much, but I didn’t hate it either.  It was just a book.
Thank you.


Overall, I just didn’t connect with this story. It was a fast read that was cute and had great scenic descriptions, but I was constantly asking, “Why was the scene written, did it even need to be in there?”  I couldn’t help but analyze the book.  It was written in a way where getting lost in the story was nearly impossible.  I would probably direct someone to a more entertaining read, if asked.  Harsh, but true.
Until next time…

Happy Reading, Everyone!

“Goodbye isn’t the worst thing in the world. Sometimes it’s simply time to go.”

For more on this book and where you can find it, click here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

THE PLAYER by Kresley Cole

Lets start off this 2017 New Year with a good one! What better than one by my favorite author!?!

THE PLAYER by Kresley Cole


In this searing stand-alone installment of the erotic Game Maker Series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole brings readers a tale of a man wracked with dark desires and the beautiful young woman who could sate him at last.

A madman with a shadowed past . . .

In the City of Sin, Dmitri Sevastyan finds her, Victoria Valentine--sexy, vulnerable, and in need of a protector. Obsession takes root deep inside him. Despite a history tainted with violation and betrayal, he will stop at nothing to possess her.

A grifter with nothing to lose . . .

Descended from a long line of con artists, twenty-three-year-old Victoria, a.k.a Vice, needs the score of a lifetime to keep her loved ones safe. She sets her sights on gorgeous and rich Dmitri Sevastyan. Even as the irresistible Russian toys with her body and mind, he tempts her heart.

Love is the ultimate wildcard.
When Vice and her associates maneuver Dmitri into a hasty Vegas wedding, he refuses to protect himself with a prenup, trusting her with all that he has. But can she trust him? As secrets unfold, the newlyweds share days of doubts and nights of the wickedest pleasures. Yet once Vice discovers her husband's past, will she stay to fight for her marriage or cut her losses and run?

5 out of 5 *Stars*

“Getting played never felt so good.”

Holy Cow! Kresley Cole has done it again.  I swear, I can’t figure out what my favorite series is of hers.  Every time I read a new book, the series it’s in becomes my new favorite series.  Right now, I’m loving me some hot Russians!
The Game Maker Series started off with The Professional…  A great book.  However, when book 2, The Master, came out, it became my favorite book of all time.  Now we have The Player.  I still believe Book 2 is my favorite, but this one is right up there close to it.

This book has drama, suspense, and A LOT of “make your body heat up till you need to fan yourself” love scenes. Page 1 draws you quickly into the story, and by the time you get to page 11, you’re hooked with no chance of putting it down until the book is finished. 

The characters were so compelling that your heart aches for them.  You NEED them to get their happily ever after! The sub characters were interesting as well, and any scene that involved them was just as entertaining as the last.  Not only that, the main characters from the first two books make a couple appearances.  The witty banter and heart melting connection is just as strong as in the other books.

The only criticism I have is that I wish there was a stronger conflict that the characters had to overcome, or even a villain.  The first two books had a conflict that made it seem almost impossible to overcome.  With this book, the way it ended was surprising, but it was always a given that everything would work out in the end.  I was waiting for that ultimate obstacle that really never came. 

Even with that, I’m still giving this book 5 stars.  It was a very entertaining and scandalous read that I would be happy to read again.  I wouldn’t expect any less from an author as talented as Kresley Cole!

Until next time…

Happy Reading, Everyone!!

For more on this book and where you can find it, click here.