My name is Stephanie and I am a complete book-a-holic. My kindle may actually be my unraveling…ironic. Seriously, I wish I could be one of those women who collects shoes, at least I’d get to show them off! I read more now than ever before. I rationalize it as recon. I tell myself it’s the author in me, but I fear it’s actually a deep rooted obsession. My reading has changed. I can now read more than one book at a time…in fact, I thrive on it. I feel like something is missing if I’m only reading one book at a time. Although, I will admit, “Silver Linings Playbook” completely captured me! I had to STOP everything else for about six hours and read that book cover to cover. Pat Peoples is a totally engrossing and consuming character. I picked it up on a Friday night (Yes, I read on Friday nights…total nerd girl). About 75% in, the exhaustion from a long week took over, so I was forced to finish it first thing Saturday morning…sooo good (more about it in the next edition)! Needless to say, consuming books has become more of an addiction than a hobby…but it’s all recon…after all, I’m still paying my bills, working my day job AND writing (25,000 words last month). To make myself feel better, I like consider myself a functioning book-a-holic.
Please enjoy some of my thoughts on the April edition of my ‘Latest Reads’!
J Happy Reading! J
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’ll start at the very beginning with this one. The first time I read it (junior year/honors English), I was 16 years old. The funny thing about this one, I had no interest at first; it wasn’t Sweet Valley High and it didn’t involve anything with boys or hangin’ out…with boys! I drug my feet over and over until time had run out and I needed to complete the class project. So I picked up the cliff notes, finished the assignment, handed it in, got an A. I enjoyed the cliff notes and doing the project so much I read the book AFTER the assignment! I LOVED it! Immediately, I fell in love with Gatsby. I mean what whimsical teenage girl wouldn’t fall in love with the handsome, charming, eccentric millionaire that could sweep her off her feet?? It was a pivotal book of my youth. I was completely enamored with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his characters. That being said, reading it many (20) years later, I had quite a different perspective. This time around, I was still completely enamored with Gatsby, except this time my feelings were much different. Cynicism replaced whimsical. I wanted to protect him from Daisy, Tom, himself and everyone else who took advantage and used him. I think I missed many of the underlying adult themes as a young, naïve, high-school student. I saw a fool in love, willing to quite literally give his life for a woman, who was completely unworthy of his love. This time around, the cruelty of the world and the heartache jumped from the pages. Funny how life, growth and fundamental adulthood can jade a person and change one’s perspective.
Final Thought: Still a captivating book and one of my all time faves! Can’t wait to read it again in another 20 years!
Novel Hearts: An Anthology by Write More Publication Authors
To start, I am a featured author in this anthology. I feel so lucky to have been involved in this anthology. This publication from Write More Publications offered authors a chance to write stories around some of their favorite characters just for the fans. I was honored to be involved with such a unique project! That being said, my story, “The Twistedly True Nightmare of Ruby Hood” is featured in this anthology, but my commentary will focus only on the other stories.
The River Liffey by Rebecca Boucher: I found this story to be well written and intriguing. Right away, I was deeply invested with the characters and wanted more! I look forward to the novel, on which this story is based!
My Forever Love by Theresa Oliver: As a prequel (of sorts) to “Star”, the readers gets an inside peek into Rick’s past life. Having already read “Star”, I already loved Rick, so this one was an easy one to jump into and enjoy!
Be Mine by Jennifer Paquette: As an avid fan of Greek Mythology and Jennifer Paquette, she had me at Aphrodite! The descriptions are a tasty treat (I seriously had to stop and get some chocolate during the vault scene)! This short and sweet story depicts the inception of Valentine’s Day. The reader can’t help but smile and blush!
Hungry by Amber White: How can I NOT love a story with the main character named Steph??? For the zombie enthusiasts, this one is a winner!
A Heart That Cannot Beat by Elaine White: Ms. White offers a variety of supernatural stories in this one. If you enjoy a bevy of supernatural stories speckled with love, this one is for you.
Fat Chance My Love by J.S. Wilsoncroft: For the romantic at heart! This one follows Wilsoncroft’s story, “Fat Chances”. If you love the fairy tale ‘happily ever after’ for the unlikely character, this one is for you.
Crazy Love by Molly Bryant: Ms. Bryant’s tale was quite enjoyable. Her writing really takes a hold of the reader and leads her on a well written journey. It was a fun little snippet of love and parenting.
Final thought: This book will appeal to all romantics (and many cynics), it’s got plenty of great characters to connect with and keep those pages turning!
Runaway Girl by Elaine White
An interesting vampire adventure! A vampire (kind of a pain-in-the-ass vampire) gets her soul severed into the living souls of multiple girls. However, her soul need to be reunited so she can marry Damian (aahhh, Damian), and rule the clans! Of course, it’s not going to be that simple, silly readers! White leads the reader through multiple twists and turns, at the end the readers is pleasantly pleased with the direction of the story…and it’s just the beginning!
Final thought: Vampire enthusiasts indulge!
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: I really don’t even know where to start…I LOVED this book (I LOVE the second one, as well)! Although it is deemed ‘young adult’, the older characters pack a helluva punch! The old, wise, realistic part of my soul completely identified with the methodical and cautious ways of Macon and Amma. These two have a mysterious and complicated history. Even at the end, the reader is left wondering. The main characters of the story, Ethan and Lena are epic! The youthful, adventurous, impulsive aspect of my soul completely identified with that time when one still believes love/adoration is limitless and boundless. While they are vastly different…er…creatures, they have a deep affection for one another, and they won’t let anything keep them apart. The authors easily captivate the reader. At the end, I felt like there was a great resolution (although, I was sad and a little…OK really… pissed). But there are new questions to be answered and a new path for the characters. Like I said, I’m hooked…ten pages into the second book, I had to make sure the third one was downloaded! (Did I mention I’m a raving book-a-holic and a total nerd girl???)
Final thought: Loving this series! It is my guilty pleasure of the moment!
The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
Very happy to have found Tess Gerritsen! As a huge fan of the TV series ‘Rizzoli and Isles’, it seemed natural that I would read the books, once I found out the series was based on books. (Aren’t all the good ones???) I wasn’t disappointed in the least. A riveting read! I was addicted almost immediately. Gerritsen’s descriptions and details are impressive (that’s the writer in me…wow…super impressed! I could picture every detail). Gerritsen leads the reader on a convoluted journey that follows a violent and mentally unstable killer, who was always one step ahead! I hated to read it right before bed with the creepy killer lurking on every page, but I simply couldn’t help myself! I just had to pick it up. I stayed up late reading (too late many nights), thanks to the talent of Tess Gerritsen!
Final thought: Yes, in my kindle obsession, I’ve already downloaded books two and three!
What is coming next on ‘Latest Reads’?
A Fool and his Honey by Charlaine Harris
Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Illuminated Knights by Brian Bresee
Uniquely Unwelcome by Brandy Nacole