Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review - Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Book Summary

The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

My Review - 4 1/2

I have been a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy from the beginning and continue to be. I watched a little of Private Practice but that isn't a miss even though I loved Addison as an actress.  Scandal became my new love but the way the season ended in November, I have no interest in continuing and I had made a decision not to even start with How to Get Away with Murder.  So over all, I'm a Grey's fan.  This is not my kind of book but I downloaded the sample and was laughing, became engaged and had to read it.  I'm glad I did, very fun book.

Shonda is a successful female but she is an introvert.  I am not like Shonda but I was able to appreciate her story and laugh at her or with her.  I thought she did a great job on balancing, allowing us in but not with the details of to much personal.  Her ride to die friend, who is also badass is Christina Yang, not Sandra Oh the real person but Christina.  I loved everything about Christina, she could do no wrong and Shonda wrote her in order to have someone on her side.  The parts of Christina in the book were my favourite, I understood.

I won't go into it but the way Shonda ended the season of Scandal, uggggh, I had anger for a few days until I finally told myself to get over it but getting over it means giving up on Scandal, I'm done.  Shonda definitely showed herself in Year of Yes and it explains the decision on why she decided to end the way she did.  I still don't agree and hate that story line and will continue to feel like Liv could have had it all in Liv's way, the Gladiator way, the unmarried but still with the man she loved way.  ANGRY.....  I will accept it as I have no other choice but i'm done, I'm glad Shonda found her way of saying Yes and eventually No also.  This worked for her and she creates the story lines, so it is what it is.

So many debatable topics, the stay at home mom which should not be in the category of work.  She hates the word diversity, her word is normalizing, she says "I'm normalizing TV.  The dancing Meredith and Christina did is a way of living for Shonda, sweet moments.  Sharing some of her speeches, all had inspiring moments, I appreciated this being shared.  All these areas were favourites of mine in the book,

I think there will be a few that hates this book but I think that would be the category of thinking celebrities are not real people.  Shonda showed us who she is and writing was what she loved, the pretend world.  The speeches, social media, events etc came during her Year of Yes which she acknowledges change, she is not perfect.  In my head now, she is laugh out loud hilarious, she had me crying at times.  I would love to go to a games night with her.  It is not a game to her, she actually is not allowed to host or be invited to games anymore due to her inappropriate intensity.  We all have that 1 friend, dancing and saying "IN YOUR FACE, BITCHES!!!"  I seriously was cracking up.

I was happy to see the inside of a celebrity from their point of view.  I found it light, fun, badassary (Shonda added this to her Dictionary as a new word).  I was a Grey's Anatomy fan but now I can say I'm a Shonda fan. 

The Year of Yes can be very inspiring for some, and it all started with her sister saying "You never say yes to anything."  It was a great fun read for me, this was more about Shonda, her own personal challenge then a book about inspiring us.


That's my superpower - telling good stories.  Smooth stories.  Funny stories.  Epic stories.  Kindle 9%

With the empty whiteboard of an episode before me, I slip into a zone of calm confidence.  I feel the hum.  Making television for me is.....blissful.  Kindle 45%

A Favourite Quote, great debate this would start

I find it offensive to motherhood to call being a mother a job.
Being a mother isn't a job.
It's who someone is.
It's who I am.
You can quit a job.  I can't quit being a mother.  Kindle 36%

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Monday, what book do you have a date with?

Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

I'm currently reading and laughing.......

I reviewed and loved - my review (Psychological Suspense)

I also reviewed a book from last year, highly recommend.  My Review
I think I am going to read my NetGalley request next especially since it releases soon.
Wishing you a fabulous week.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review - Unhinge by Calia Read

Book Summary

Published January 12, 2016

In Calia Read’s electrifying and steamy novel of psychological suspense, a handsome stranger shatters a beautiful young woman’s picture-perfect vision of her past.

Hold your breath and count to ten. Soon it will be over before it ever began.
No matter how many times Victoria Donovan repeats that phrase to herself, she’s still trapped behind the walls of a mental institution. Once upon a time, her life was like a fantasy: Wes, the handsome fiancรฉ, followed by a storybook wedding and a white picket fence. But then a picture-perfect marriage twisted into something sinister. And as Victoria’s world warped from dream to nightmare, her husband’s obsessions pushed her beyond the breaking point.

At first Fairfax Mental Health Institute seems like a safe place for Victoria to heal with her baby, Evelyn, and to hide from Wes, presumed dead by everyone except Victoria. Her husband is still alive, she has no doubt: He slips into her room at night to torment and tempt her. One smoldering kiss and she’s powerless. Of course, no one believes her about these visits. When she meets a sexy, mysterious stranger intent on helping her recall her past, Victoria isn’t sure she can trust him. But deep in her heart, she also knows that the only way out of Fairfax is to remember the way she came in.

My Review - 4 1/2 star

Psychological Suspense

Wow, wow and wow.  This is a book I wished I was able to read in 1 seating, staying up until almost 2am for two nights is not me but I couldn't get enough.  The storytelling has you on the edge of your seat.

Victoria has been in a verbal and physical abusive marriage and something so bad has happened she is now in a mental institution. The story is mainly told from her point of view, I never felt that she was crazy but couldn't wait to find out what really put her there.  She couldn't remember and her Doctor was slowly showing her pictures to assist with bringing back the memories. 

Farifax Mental Health Institute was where most of the story took place.  You knew something was off but there is no way to figure it out.  Her husband Wes was scary, the total beautiful handsome perfect to the outside world husband but those mind games that became physical, shocking. There are other storylines that I am unable to go into but it is executed perfectly, you will not want to put this book down.

It finally gets to 90% almost and then you are saying WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.  I totally thought I missed something, saved the page because I thought I would have to go back and then the mastermind craziness is revealed.  Sometimes I think authors wrap it all up with no flaws but it really came at the perfect time and was a great ending.  Sometimes Plan A don't work out so you go with Plan B, it was a whoa thrilling moment but made so much sense, not one that could have been thought of.

You did pick up that something was wrong and depressive about Victoria and it was fine.  The ultimate ending makes your heart melt, finally the beginning of healing.

Note - now I understand why it says adult audience and used words like steamy.  It is not erotica but the sex scenes are detailed, there was I believe two, if you are not into that you can easily skip over.  Calia Read books are amazing, so glad I found this author.  You can read them out of order.  It says Book 2 but the only consistent is Fairfax, looks like we will get stories about a mental institution that gives us a psychological suspense.

This is really close to a 5 star read but a major character should have been in the ending scenes, I am confused why she isn't.  Also a major part of what can be considered Victoria being crazy, I can't believe would happen.  It won't be allowed and other patients would totally mention it, I wish they would have did this a little different.

I highly recommend both of these books.  Unravel is now $2.99 and Unhinge is $6.99 on Kindle.

My Review of Unravel, also 4 1/2

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Teaser Tuesday and Review - The Forgotten Daughter by Renita D'Silva

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! 

Just do the following and go here to participate: Teaser Tuesday

Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page 
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Teaser -  Once upon a time, I wished for a family, a husband, a bevy of children.  I neglected to be specific.  I did not ask that they all be with me at the same time.  Kindle 78%

Published Date - February 2014

Book Summary

‘You were adopted’. 
Three simple words, in a letter accompanying her parents' will, tear Nisha’s carefully ordered world apart. Raised in England, by her caring but emotionally reserved parents, Nisha has never been one to take risks. 

Now, with the scrawled address of an Indian convent begins a search for the mother and family she never knew and the awakening of childhood memories long forgotten. 

The secrets, culture and people that Nisha discover will change her life forever. And, as her eyes are opened to a side of herself she didn’t know existed, Nisha realizes that she must also seek answers to the hardest question of all – why? 

Weaving together the stories of Nisha, Shilpa and Devi, The Forgotten Daughter explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional themes of motherhood, loss and identity – ultimately asking the question of what you would do out of love for your children? 

My Review - 4 1/2

I read this one a year ago, it was my choice for my book club.  Such a beautiful read.  Last year I really read out of my comfort zone but this was one of the gems.  The Forgotten Daughter was some of the most beautiful lyrical writing I have read.  Renita D'Silva is an author I will definitely try again.  I am not one for descriptive writing but it was the perfect execution.  I felt I was in India, the smells of the culture had me at times closing my eyes and being in the moment.   Having a book make me stop and cherish the time reading is an unique emotion while reading I haven't had before.

Shilpa had the twin girls and had to make the hardest decision in her life which was a matter of life or death.  Emotional and honest journey which we get to hear through all the characters voices. Multiple narrators is another style I enjoy and again, perfect execution. 

Many chapters started with an Indian recipe, simplistic but heartfelt.  I really enjoyed that smells arose memories.  We get to hear their stories from babies, toddlers and then as adults when Nisha finds out she was adopted and starts her adventure.  

I don't personally know anyone that was adopted but I thought this was a stunning story about finding out as an adult and going on a journey to find your loved ones.  

Reading my notes and writing this review makes me want to read it again, which I never do, a solid read, highly recommend.  Beautiful characters, we really get to know them and become invested in their story.  I think the ending was exactly as it should have been in order to honour the culture, the questions, the family.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review - Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

Publication date - May 2015

Book Summary

One of Sarah's daughters died. But can she be sure which one?

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcroft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity--that she, in fact, is Lydia--their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, they are forced to confront what really happened on that fateful day.

My Review 3 1/2

This is one of the weirdest books I have read.  I can't imagine having identical twins and only knowing them apart by their personality.  When they were babies into toddlers, one had a nail painted pink and the other blue to help identify them.  I can understand the frustration and chilling scary moments for the mother.  As the reader I just wanted to get to the end to understand the story but I was able to put it down, it never had me on the edge of my seat.  Which twin died, Kirstie or Lydia, you truly didn't know and it was quite confusing.

Unreliable characters are one of my favourite styles but I was more frustrated reading this one.  The mom tells the story and I wonder if she needs help, they all need help.  The author did a good job on allowing me to feel the pain and frustration the family did, all in different ways but the ending helps to understand why.  This is such a sad quote.

" that Lydia is alone she may lead a more normal life, you know, twins are so different, now she is more normal, in the most terrible way, of course." Kindle 71%

Can you imagine saying that to a mom, outrageous.

As I learned all the secrets throughout the story I was angry, how can parents be that ignorant, what they put on their child was unbelievable to me, no wonder she was confused and it became scary.  This story truly made you consider believing in ghosts, now I can understand the main word used to describe the book, chilling.

When you are guilty of an act that you end up with amnesia, how do you heal and move on?  This is the question and who is guilty, mom, dad or the surviving twin?


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top Ten Must Read List for 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

I have been back blogging for a full month now, yaaaay.  During the Top Ten posts in December, I created a must read list for this year.  It was great to see many bloggers with similar interest posting and trusted bloggers who write simplistic perfect reviews or long detailed ones.  I am sure this will be an amazing year of reading from your recommendations.

Here is my list.

This one was my 1st read of the year from recommendations. 

Which one's did you really enjoy?  If you had to choose 1 for me to read SOON, which one would you pick?

Have a great week.

Monday, January 11, 2016

It's Monday.... what are you reading?

Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

I'm currently reading

I completed and reviewed The Nightingale, historical fiction is not my thing but I love Kristin Hannah.  Do you think I enjoyed it?   My Review
What is next...... so excited to read this, I loved Unravel, it will be released on Tuesday.
This has really caught my attention.  I read the free sample so I think this may be next also.  Have you heard of this one?  I have always been a Grey's Anatomy fan and Scandal but the way that ended this season, honestly may not watch anymore, eek.

I am very happy to be back and reconnecting with blogging friends.  It is inspiring here and already I am excited about what I am reading again.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Review - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Book Summary

In love we find out who we want to be.

In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gรคetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can … completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

My Review - 4 1/2

Kristin Hannah is a favourite author, one I usually read the new right away and I am still working my way through others I haven't read yet.  I downloaded this one right away but due to historical content I continued to procrastinate, it's just not my genre of choice and didn't want to be let down since I am a fan.  I have to say almost throughout the whole book Kristin H kept me engaged, I was feeling a solid 4 stars and then bringing it all together and the ending........ WOW.  I was in tears and couldn't stop crying, she pushed my emotional buttons.  And this is what I think she is a master at.

At times I thought the story moved slowly but it continued to move us forward and I wanted to know what was next, do we get to see the war end in the story, what happens to this family - father, daughter and sister, a complex story but beautiful.  It may have seemed like a dysfunctional family but in the end you realize love forces you to make decisions that others won't understand, sometimes until it is to late.  With war you never have enough time, being in the moment is the time.

I enjoyed all the characters, not having a favourite, what amazing souls.  So many memorable scenes.  I loved the adventure of Isabelle.  I respected the choices Vianne made as a mother and loyal friend especially as Germans invaded her home and made it theirs.  I enjoyed the suspense of their father.  The loves in their lives touched my heart and the children were heartbreaking with the innocence and glimmer of light in the dark, sad, bloody war.

Early on someone said to Isabelle, ah, a nightingale.  Her last name meant nightingale.  This observation had me puzzled as throughout the most of the book during the war, the German's were searching for the amazing Nightingale, which was her codename.  Do you think it was the fact that she was a woman and they never could consider a woman being that strong mentally and physically?  This just seemed a little far fetched for me.

I can see why this gem made so many bloggers favourite list, it was the perfect execution from beginning to end, capturing all issues.  Even though historical is not my thing, this was beautiful and Kristin Hannah truly showed her talent, gaining new fans for sure but still not letting her loyal fans down, remarkable to me. 


Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy Monday - What are you reading?

Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

Are you enjoying your first book?

My 1st book of the year is.........

I reviewed.....  Adult Fiction.  My Review
I also reviewed...... Thriller/YA.  My Review

I am considering this as my next read


Friday, January 1, 2016

My First Book of the Year Choice


Sheila over at Book Journey has a personal book tradition, picking her 1st book of the year to read.  She has invited all of us again to join her and share our choices, what a great collage of bloggers and first books she has up.  Check it out. 

I considered sending in a picture but didn't get around to it.

Kristin Hannah is a favourite author of mine.  I downloaded the book but didn't get to it.  After seeing it on numerous Top Ten lists, I knew I had to start the year out right for me as reading was a struggle last year.

Did you also know it has been chosen to be put into movie adaptation?  Sweet, I'm sure many of you are looking forward to that.