Tag Archives: romance

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

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“You can obsess and obsess over how things ended—what you did wrong or could have done differently—but there’s not much of a point. It’s not like it’ll change anything. So really, why worry?”

 

I picked this book solely based on its title.  Yes, I’ve read some of the good and bad reviews and still I go on with it. I just hope it will turn out different.

The story is about Brie who died from broken heart, literally. Her father is dumbfounded to learn the cause of her daughter’s death. He even becomes obsessed to find answers why and how her daughter died of acute massive coronary when he knew his daughter is strong and healthy.

Brie is selfish. She didn’t listen with Jeff. She didn’t listen again with Patrick. She’s too stubborn. She’s overwhelmed with her emotions and unreasonable most of the time. You can’t really make a person listen to you unless he chooses to right? It’s like you’re trying so hard to wake up a person who pretends that he’s sleeping.

Grief has 5 stages – Denial,  Anger,  Bargaining,  Sadness and Acceptance and Brie has gone through all this stage. The best part is her acceptance and as much as I would love to reveal what is Patrick ‘s role in her life I wouldn’t spoil the fun. I’ll try to keep the good stuff for myself this time. HahaI have to admit there’s a portion in the  book that put me into sleep most of the time. Some parts are annoying and I’ve wished it was not there so I wouldn’t have to suffer from reading it.Reading about a heroine in 10th grade is too much for my patience. I guess this is the consequence of picking a book not appropriate for my age. I should have seen this coming. But I wanted to read something new and it’s my first time to read a book from this author. It doesn’t hurt to try, right?


As I said there are dull moments and felt like a pain in the butt. I have no choice but to  drag myself to continue with it so I wouldn’t have regrets if it turns out good. I simply don’t want to abandon it. If this turns out bad, well, it’s part of life. Just like in the movie,  when Forest Gump said that life is like a box of chocolate,  you’ll never know what you’ll gonna get. That’s the same with picking a book, eh?

This is what I’ve gone through while reading it. There are times I wanted to give up and check out other books that I’m sure much better than this. It’s tiring to watch Brie hurt herself over again for someone who doesn’t deserve her. It’s much more easy to let it go than scheme revenge  for Jeff and Sadie than subject herself through pain again.

Why did I ever read this, you might ask. Why put myself in this situation when I can choose a better one? A friend of mine died. We’re not close friends or as in close as in you can make him mad for throwing mean jokes at him and still OK with it. He’s one of my Facebook friends. I’ve wished it had been more real. Even if we’re online friends he makes me feel he’s real. He died June 26, 2014. I was surprised the following day upon reading in my Facebook feed that he already passed away. I knew he was recovering then and the shock to find that he was gone was like I’ve lost a good friend.

I was thankful and lucky that I’ve met someone like him. He might never read this but I hope he would feel that I will surely miss him.  He’s a great man and I knew his family will surely missed him.

Where was I? Oh, back to the story.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a sad story. But then, that’s really the book is all about. It’s a good read for those trying to take a glimpse how a dead person cope with his death. How Brie copes with the five stages of grief.

Would you want to read it? If you are up to reading YA, well, this book will suit you. If you’re not used to  reading teens whining and being unreasonable at times at least you can avoid it or have an open mind and give this book a try.

Would I consider re-reading this? No way. That will be like dying twice. Hahaha 


4 Stars


J.J. Graves Mysteries by Liliana Hart

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When it rains, it pours. 

I was on a trip with my husband and left my Kindle back home which I normally do. Being captive and unproductive in a place made me uneasy and restless. The place we’ve been to was calling  for a good book. It was green, peaceful and quiet.  I checked my Samsung Note for anything to read since I have installed Amazon Kindle in it. I’ve got a few loan books which I downloaded from Amazon but never read any of it in my smart phone. Having read some of Liliana Hart’s Mackenzie series, I opted to pick Dirty Little Secrets without any idea about the book.

Dirty Little Secrets is one of the four books in the series. I learned this when I got home and checked Goodreads about the book. If I learned  earlier that these are series and that there is a fourth book coming up by Fall of this year I wouldn’t have read it. I honestly have low tolerance for books in installment. I could put up with two up to three series but not with book four on its tow. Reading book series is like shopping on impulse. It makes you buy more things you don’t need and will only add up in my growing list of to-be-read-books. You’ll just learn later on that isn’t worth a dime and end up disappointed or the new series had just destroyed  the earlier installment or vice versa. A new installment could make or break an already phenomenal book.

But in this case, I was so wrong. After I read book one, I was craving to read all the series and ended up buying books two and three.

The book was written in JJ’s POV. JJ Graves is a fourth generation mortician. She used to have a well paying job as a hospital doctor when she was later forced to move back in Bloody Mary, Virginia after her parents died. Moving in in Bloody Mary was a setback in her plans since she needed to pay her  loans and a single woman with a kind of job she has now would not land her a boyfriend in this small town.

She’s broke and lonely. She hated her job but had no choice. She took over her family’s legacy, Graves Funeral Home, even if she despised it. She volunteers as a coroner out of guilt for her parents’ status as undesirable citizens of their town. She works with her hot best friend county sheriff, Jack Lawson.

JJ is a believable character. I could relate myself with her. How she make do with what she have and doesn’t take advantage of Jack’s offer to borrow money from him. She’s smart – ass with a great sense of humor. She could make you laugh with her sarcastic and witty humor.

There’s a serial killer on the loose killing some of their friends. They are discovering secrets from these deaths that even themselves caught surprised. It’s the usual formula in a suspense romance novel one could read from the same genre. But what made this interesting and worth buying is that, for me, it’s something new and without having read its reviews prior to reading this book, is like finding a gold mine in a barren land.

I love Jack. He has ways of making his feelings known so that  JJ would get used to it. He expressed his feelings even in an awkward situation and yet he comes out so cute. Every time he did that I couldn’t help but giggle and swoon. He’s lovable without being too mushy. His persona as a sheriff is as tough as a rock but when he lets his feelings come out, boy, I envy JJ. She’s so damn lucky. Sigh.

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Reading book installment is like an unopened gift you will never know what’s inside it unless you opened one. I was surprised to have read the first book and couldn’t stop from reading it till the end. When I got home, I took out my Kindle and read the second book, A Dirty Shame.

Book two, A Dirty Shame, is much more enjoyable than its previous installment. Here, JJ and Jack’s love story was given a chance. In book one, you could only feel the slight built up of romance between the two but no one dared to open up each other’s feelings. Just oblique hints from gorgeous hunk county sheriff Jack Lawson. In book two, Jack made known his intentions with JJ. If he’s patient in the first book, here he showed who’s in charged. I love how Jack made me feel his love for JJ.The second book started to clear some issues that concerns her roots. Here she learned some of the secrets her parents had kept from her all her life.

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In book three, Dirty Little Scoundrel, JJ was surprised to find out a dead body hidden in her parents’ bunker. And to her shock, JJ’s father is alive. She also learned his boyfriend’s past which intrigued her ever since he came home to Bloody Mary. She knew Jack had a great career as a SWAT cop in DC but something came up and he had to leave the job he loved. In this installment, someone is killing off all of the members of Jack’s former SWAT Team. Also, Jack’s old flame showed up in Bloody Mary which somehow complicated their relationship.

The only problem I have right now is I have to wait for the fourth book which will be released by November. I’m frustrated because I want the FOURTH INSTALLMENT NOW!  I hope it would be the last installment. Although the three books are worth buying, and since I’ve read the three books IN RAPID SUCCESSION, I would likely buy the fourth book, and I pray it would be the last. Although all three books are great, I honestly could tolerate another installment.

 4 Stars each for Dirty Little Secrets, A Dirty Shame, and Dirty Little Scoundrel


Always You

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What if you knew you’re going to die because of a disease that also killed your father? You knew it’s coming but don’t exactly know when the symptoms will ever appear or not. But you have more time to live it, meaningfully. You have more time to spend it wisely with your love ones. Your family knew it and somehow they have warnings. You will be ready. They, too, will be ready. Would you pick this kind of life for you?

What if you never knew when will your life ends? You’re healthy. You live carefree. You live one day at a time and then in a blink of an eye you’ll die in an accident. Without warning you’re gone.You’re not ready. Your family isn’t ready. They are not prepared. Would you pick this kind of life for you?

Given the chance, which one of the two would you choose?

For me, I honestly don’t want to choose. I’m afraid one day I’ll die because of an incurable disease or in an accident or worst old age. I don’t want to be put in a home care while waiting for my body to wither each day and become helpless.  But if I have no other option I want my life to end without becoming a burden to my family. I don’t want to see them suffering while I’m in pain and struggling for my last breath. I want it peaceful. I want it to happen while I was sleeping and I don’t have to wake up.

Death isn’t an easy subject for me. I don’t know if I would have the same attitude the way Dalton accepted his fate. The way he faced his disease and kept a positive outlook towards life showed a strong character few people could possess.  He’s full of hope. He has the love and support of his family and Wrenn, her girlfriend.

After reading I Am No One You Know by Joyce Carol Oates, I decided to pick this book. Always You is a light read but will make you question how you view your life right now.


Give me sweet dreams Tate

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Sweet Dreams. Kristen Ashley 

 

Sweet Dreams is the 1st book I’ve read from the author Kristen Ashley. Although I’ve read positive reviews from it I can’t ignore some minor negative feedbacks. I read them first before investing my time into the book. It gives me fair warning before I end up frustrated or disappointed. I guess old habit dies hard. Usually I heeded the warning. But not this time. I picked up Sweet Dreams, dumped the first book I’ve chosen, but there’s this nagging feeling I’m making a bad choice.

 

Like other readers, I’m curious what the fuss is all about.

 

Lauren is a divorcee who moved out from gated village to Carnal nowheresville  to start a new life. She has everything wanted by any woman: successful career, gorgeous husband, beautiful house, posh neighborhood, stylish friends, and lived in suburbia. But she feels incomplete.

 

Since all relationships are put to the test, hers isn’t spared. Her perfect marriage life started collapsing. Her husband and bestfriend cheated on her which is going on for years and her docile friends accepted it just because they ALL thought they aren’t matched for each other. Worst thing is, she is the only person who doesn’t know about it.

 

After the divorce, she wandered aimlessly from different cities for months until she got to the town called Carnal. The author has fondness for quirky character names and naming places.  When I first thought about Carnal the first thing that popped inside my head are the two towns  Sodom and Gomora, which are mentioned in the bible that were burnt to ashes by their gods due to their unhealthy sexual  practices. But Lauren is right. Carnal is so ordinary none can associate the town with other prominent cities not even Sodom and Gomora. It’s a nowheresville where the likes of her can start a new life.

 

Tate Jackson is a huge biker  con pro football player con cop turned bounty hunter. He has execrable manners when pissed. He could lashed out anyone near him with his foul words when in bad mood. Lauren bore the brunt of his anger during their first meeting at the Bubba’s bar where she got a waitress job owned by Tate, Bubba and Kyla. She avoided Tate whenever he’s around but he isn’t inclined to do the same.

 

Tate’s character is a badass and domineering alpha male, but under that strong facade, he takes care of his son, bar none. His love for his son make him even more attractive and lovable to female readers. Nothing makes a woman love a man more than seeing how much he loves his child.

 

There is physical attraction between Tate and Lauren. At first,  it’s like a dog-cat relationship.  But Tate has implied his interest in a bikers’ lingo that confuses her much. Later the relationship slowly  developed, which brought them closer together. They set aside their differences when one of his waitresses was killed by a serial killer. This turn of event added more excitement to the readers.

 

Lauren has bad insomnia. And Tate has brilliant  solution for this. He gave Lauren mind-blowing sex so she could sleep well at night. Hmmm. Not a bad idea. Can I have that too, Tate? Ha ha. Silly me.

There are several issues that didn’t convince me well that I would like to point out. She appeared unaware of the cheating. Isn’t it being a woman, our intuition if triggered or pricked for no reason could tell us that there’s cheating going on. It’s like a woman’s armour/defense.  Any woman who’s in a relationship could feel if her partner is cheating. Getting him caught is just a solid proof. The gut feel is enough to convince her there’s something wrong in their  relationship.

 

Her so-called friends didn’t even bother to tell her the truth. I mean, at least one of them has told her the truth. But not in this book. It seemed their minds work the same way. As if all of them don’t use their brains. All right. I’ll just assume all of her friends conspired to ditch her out of her meaningless marriage life. It’s a blessing in disguise after all. Come to think of it, the author probably want that too. Nevertheless, I still stand with my point. I believed not all people think the same way given the same circumstances.

 

Lauren is coming home to Wood’s place mostly every night and they just slept. She’s in his bed, sleeping beside him practically every night.  Is it possible? Hell, I don’t buy it. If Wood is sleeping beside me, and he’s gorgeous as Tate is, I wouldn’t promise to keep my hands off of him. I would make sure he’ll wake up in a blissful dream. Ha ha

 

After reading Sweet Dreams, I felt like the reading soul in me has evaporated into thin air and finally said goodbye. My confidence  in grammar has dwindled. The writing style isn’t a good influence for neophyte writer. If I adopted this style, my Nazi professor in creative writing will definitely give me an ‘F’ mark without a blink.

 

Having sweet dreams is being able to sleep at night free of worries about relationship, financial difficulties, career and life even if something is wrong. To hell with the problem. It’s always there and no one is exempted from it. It’s how we deal with our problems that matters. We made mistakes, we picked up ourselves, we learned from it and we moved on. That’s life. It’s acceptance for what you have in the present and making the most out of it. 

If you don’t mind reading a book with numerous grammatical errors and long winded sentences, you can  give this book a try and you might survive it. I did. It didn’t hurt me much for picking up this book. And it gives me reasons to rant about it.