Friday, November 30, 2012

Josie Griffin is Not a Vampire by Heather Swain

A hilarious take on the paranormal trend--Twilight meets The Breakfast Club!

When former good girl turned rebel Josie Griffin gets busted for what was in her mind perfectly acceptable revenge on her cheating dog of a boyfriend, she lands herself in anger management therapy. It could be worse: it could be juvie, or she could be a zombie cheerleader like the rest of her former friends. But there's something strange about therapy--these are not normal kids. There's the wannabe ladies man with a weird accent, Johann; the blindingly gorgeous Helios; Avis with his wild dreads; and Tarren, the sprite of a girl with a wicked temper. And all of them keep talking about "powers." Josie knows that has to be impossible, but strange things start happening, and nothing weird ever happens in Indiana. After all, there're no such things as vampires, werewolves, Greek gods, or fairies . . . right? (from GoodReads)

I thought that Josie Griffin is Not a Vampire was a cute read, though I'm not sure I would categorize it as "Twilight meets The Breakfast Club." In the beginning, it was actually really funny. Josie had some great one-liners and I was excited to keep reading. As the book continued there weren't as many funny moments, which was a little sad.

I did like Josie as a character. She starts out angry and upset because her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend, while her other friend kept it a secret. How awful is that! So Josie doesn't have any friends anymore until she starts her anger management therapy. What she is surprised to find is that she is in a group for paranormal creatures! No one knows she's human so she pretends she's a vampire/werewolf hybrid (sounds like The Vampire Diaries) without powers.

In addition to group therapy, Josie has to participate in community service. She gets placed at a home for runaway girls, but she finds that something sinister is going on there. The girls are disappearing one by one, and she's sure it is paranormal in nature. It was fun seeing Josie trying to figure out what was going on and I liked that she cared so much about the girls that she decided to help them.

What I thought was hilarious is that Josie's ex-boyfriend fancies himself a demon hunter and drives around in an Impala... pretty sure the author is a fan of Supernatural.

Overall, Josie Griffin in Not a Vampire wasn't anything spectacular but it was a cute read. If you're looking for something super light and quick, this is definitely a good choice.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: sent by publisher

2012/Speak/272 pages.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giveaway: The Farm by Emily McKay

I'm so glad to be hosting another contest, this one for the 2012 YA debut The Farm!! I've already read it and it was amazing! So please enter the contest because The Farm is seriously worth reading. The book will be released Dec 4 so this is your opportunity to get a free copy!!!

For those who don't know what it's about, here's a synopsis:

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race... (from GoodReads)

Contest Rules:
Ends December 5 at 8 pm EST.
Open to US residents only.
Extra entries are available.

Waiting on Wednesday - 113

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of lovable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting - or stealing - whatever they want.

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir - this time, Hale might be the mark.

Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy. (from GoodReads)

I absolutely adore the Heist Society series so I'm super excited to see what happens next! Perfect Scoundrels will be released February 5, 2013.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 59

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Books I'm Pining For in 2013

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
I am seriously dying to know how this trilogy turns out. I think I even like it more than The Mortal Instruments!!

2. Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton
Another conclusion to a fantasy series and I want to know if Ellie is able to save Will!

3. Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
I absolutely adored the first two books in this series so I hope the author continues to write. I can't get enough of teenage art thiefs and con artists.

4. Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
I'm so excited to read this book by fellow blogger Lenore! I'm sure it's amazing.

5. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
These books are always so cute and Stephanie Perkins really knows how to write romance!

6. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
So many trilogies are ending in 2013. Pandemonium left off on such a cliffhanger and I can't wait to see how it is resolved.

7. My Suicide Playlist by Leila Sales
Leila Sales is a hilarious writer and I can't wait to see how funny this is! Unfortunately there is no definite release date or cover yet.

8. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
I just heard of this today, but it takes place in the future where everyone has a twin raised separately and you have to fight to the death to see who gets to live. That sounds like an awesome plot.

9. How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Summer, romance and a road trip? Sign me up!

10. Slated by Teri Terry
In Slated if you are deemed a criminal your memory is erased. That sounds awful but it makes for a good story!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 112

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.

Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look.

Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn't always tell the whole story. (from GoodReads)

I think Thousand Words sounds really interesting. There are always stories in the news about these viral texts ... I think one even went around my high school. Sometimes people don't realize how damaging they can be and I'm curious to see what happens in this book! Thousand Words will be released May 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 58

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Books & Authors I'm Thankful For

1. J.K. Rowling
For writing the one of the most amazing book series that defined my childhood. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to every few years (books and movies)!!!!

2. Cassandra Clare
I absolutely adore her novels but I love her tumblr too. I love how she reaches out to her readers daily and is always providing snippets of her books and answering questions! She has such a great relationship with her fans.

3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I'm thankful that Uglies was the first to really get me into dystopian literature. Now it's my favorite genre!

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giver was one of the first books to make me think! That's the most important part of reading.

5. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
This book is hilarious and I still laugh every time I read it. I know I can pick it up if I'm having a bad day.

6. Suzanne Collins
I'm glad she wrote an awesome book series that got a lot of people into reading and that entertained those who already love to read.

7. John Green
Like Cassandra, he also has a wonderful relationship with his fans. We need more authors like him! Plus his books are amazing as well.

8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Thank you for writing a book about sexual abuse for girls to turn to. I'm sure it helped a lot of young adults.

9. The Babysitter's Club Series by Ann M. Martin
For inspiring me to become a babysitter! They make good money hahah.

10. Any author on the Banned Books List
 Thank you for writing thought-provoking books and for continuing to write!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita

What if... Your picture was taped inside teenage boys' lockers across America, your closets were bursting with never-worn designer clothing, and the tabloids constantly asked whether you were losing your "good girl" status?

It's a glamorous life, but sixteen-year-old Kaitlin Burke, costar of one of the hottest shows on TV, is exhausted from the pressures of fame. Then she hits on an outrageously daring solution, one that has to remain top secret or it will jeopardize everything she's ever worked for. (from GoodReads)

So Secrets of My Hollywood Life has been on my bookshelf for almost four years now. I finally got around to reading it! I'm kinda mad I waited this long because it was actually really good but now I'm so behind in the series.

Many people have wondered what it's like being famous, and in Secrets of My Hollywood Life we get a taste of that. The way Jen Calonita portrayed Kaitlin and the life of a teen star seemed pretty realistic. She has to deal with crazy parents, overbearing manager and a hectic schedule but she also gets perks such as free clothes and invites to all the premieres. However, Kaitlin (like most people) wants what she doesn't have and decides to enroll at a high school and be a normal girl.

I knew all this going into the book, but I had no idea that she actually wore a disguise! That seemed a little over the top but I love She's the Man, so I went along with it. The fact that Kaitlin is pretending to be someone else is hilarious and adds a few laughs to the story. This book is a few years old and it was so funny hearing Kaitlin rave about the Sidekick. I remember when those were big! Now she'd have the iPhone 5.

Secrets of My Hollywood Life was pretty light and fun, but I really enjoyed it. I didn't think I'd want to continue the series at first, but now I'm looking forward to reading the next book. I better get started - this series has 6!

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: birthday gift.

2007/Poppy/256 pages.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Easy by Tammara Weber

A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy. (from GoodReads)

Wow!!!! This book was amazing! It's also the first book I've read that is "New Adult" so it was almost weird that the main character is in college. I can definitely relate to that.

Unlike the title, Easy is not always easy to read. In the first few pages, Jacqueline is assaulted and almost raped. It's a tough scene, because you feel Jacqueline's fear and desperation. Luckily she is a very strong character and learns to fight back through self-defense classes. Reading about assault in fiction was very interesting because I am an RA, so this is the kind of thing I might have to deal with. I really hope I don't, but it was nice to get into the mindset of Jacqueline so I can learn how to relate to victims of sexual assault.

Jacqueline is thankfully rescued during her assault by our main romantic figure, Lucas. Lucas is one of those love interests that ruins real men for readers. He was such an awesome character. He had his own secrets, but he cared so much about Jacqueline and it was really sweet. A lot of their relationship is physical, but they also seem compatible personality wise, as well.

Since this is the first New Adult book I've read, it was probably one of the first where the protagonist is in college. It was pretty cool because her school seems similar to mine and I could relate to a lot of things (classes, finals, studying, etc). It was nice reading about a character that's actually my age and I really hope that more books are written about this genre.

Overall, Easy was not the easiest book to read, but it was definitely engaging and hard to put down. I'm definitely going to watch out for Tammara Weber's other novels because she is a great writer!

Rating: 10 out of 10.
FTC: sent by publisher.

2012/Berkley/304 pages.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 111

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to see what new books are going to be published.

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue. (from GoodReads)

I love books about the summer, especially ones that take place at the beach! I hope the romance is as good as it sounds. Nantucket Blue will be released May 7, 2013.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 57

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Books I Would Want on a Deserted Island

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Yes, I'm taking all seven and counting it as one. I could read these over and over again so it would be perfect for a deserted island.

2. Heist Society by Ally Carter
I will be able to imagine myself jet-setting across the world while I'm actually stuck on an island.

3. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
This book makes me laugh every time I read it, so it'll keep me happy.

4. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I've already read this but it's so long that it will keep me occupied for a good amount of time.

5. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Another long one! But I've never read it so it will probably take even longer.

6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I'll be able to relate to Katniss in the arena because I'll be in the wilderness too.

7. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
I know it's not out yet but I really want to know how this trilogy ends! I wish it was going to be released sooner.

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This book is so much fun and will take my mind off my lonliness.

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth
I will definitely need some of Tris's bravery.

10. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
I will need some good romance since I'll be all alone on this island.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Serial Hottie by Kelly Oram

Hockey-obsessed tomboy Eleanor Westley has never been the object of a guy's affection before. So when the hottest boy she's ever seen moves in across the street and starts treating her like she's the center of his universe, naturally she's going to be a little skeptical. But everything starts to make sense when girls who look just like Ellie start dying all around the city. Obviously the new guy is the killer, and of course he only likes her because he wants to slice her into tiny pieces. Right? The more Ellie gets to know Seth the more she's convinced he's a psychopathic killer. Problem is, he's the sweetest psychopathic killer she's ever met. Not to mention he's brutally hot. No matter how hard she tries, she can't help but fall for him. Will Ellie find true love, or will her summer of firsts turn out to be a summer of lasts? (from GoodReads)

I was excited to read Serial Hottie because I thought it sounded different from other books I've recently read. It also seemed so relatable. Many people (including me) have probably observed their neighbors and found out some interesting things. However, most people don't think their neighbor is a serial killer, so that's what made Serial Hottie so unique.

The thing about Seth, who is the potential love interest/mass murderer, is that he's actually creepy! He takes an unhealthy interest in Ellie and seems to be obsessed with her. He also has a knife collection, reads about serial killers and is an expert in self-defense. Seth's character was bordering on being too weird, even if he wasn't the killer. The thing about Seth that makes him easier to stomach is that he had early-life trauma and might have a personality disorder. So his heart is in the right place most the of the time and with some therapy, he might actually be able to tone it down. What's interesting that we just started personality disorders in my abnormal psych class, so in a few days I might be able to figure out with one Seth fits into.

Ellie is now one of my favorite female characters! I love that she is a tomboy who doesn't mind playing rough with the boys. She was definitely a good match for Seth's intensity because she's just as quick to throw a punch as any guy. Ellie was also hilarious and there were times where I found myself laughing out loud at some of things that occur in Serial Hottie.

The mystery was one of the best parts, especially trying to figure out if it was Seth. Serial killers have to have neighbors somewhere, so you never know what the people next door may be getting into.

Serial Hottie is one of those books you want to immediately reread as soon as you finish. Though I wish Seth wasn't as intense and creepy, it was definitely a change from the Gary Stus we're sometimes subjected to. For those who want something different in their YA, I definitely recommend Serial Hottie!

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: ebook sent by author.

2012/Bluefields/374 pages.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Plague Year by Edward Bloor

It's 2001 and zombies have taken over Tom's town. Meth zombies. The drug rips through Blackwater, PA, with a ferocity and a velocity that overwhelms everyone.

It starts small, with petty thefts of cleaning supplies and Sudafed from the supermarket where Tom works. But by year's end there will be ruined, hollow people on every street corner. Meth will unmake the lives of friends and teachers and parents. It will fill the prisons, and the morgues.

Tom's always been focused on getting out of his depressing coal mining town, on planning his escape to a college somewhere sunny and far away. But as bits of his childhood erode around him, he finds it's not so easy to let go. With the selfless heroism of the passengers on United Flight 93 that crashed nearby fresh in his mind and in his heart, Tom begins to see some reasons to stay, to see that even lost causes can be worth fighting for.

Edward Bloor has created a searing portrait of a place and a family and a boy who survive a harrowing plague year, and become stronger than before. (from GoodReads)

Back in 7th grade I read Tangerine by Edward Bloor and it remains one of my favorite novels. So when I had the chance to read something else by this author, I was super excited. I hadn't read any of Edward Bloor's work since then. A Plague Year seemed like it would be an interesting choice.

When I first started A Plague Year I wasn't sure what to expect. I had no idea if the "zombies" were just a metaphor for people on drugs or if there were going to be actual zombies caused by meth (sort of like science fiction). Once I got halfway through the book and nothing was actually happening did I realize that the term "zombies" was just a metaphor.

A Plague Year is written like a journal, with Tom narrating his freshman year of high school during 2001. Obviously 9/11 plays a pretty big part, especially since Tom lives in Pennsylvania near where United 93 crashed. I really enjoyed reading about Tom and even though nothing much happened the writing was still good.

The synopsis makes it seem like there is going to major crisis caused by meth. And while some periphery characters get caught up in the drug, it always felt like it was at a distance. Drug use and abuse is a huge theme in A Plague Year: many people in Tom's life have used drugs (not meth) like alcohol and pot. Tom even attends drug counseling meetings at school even though he doesn't have a problem. Leaving out the meth, I thought the book did a good job of showing how anyone can be affected by drugs, even those not using. I think A Plague Year should have focused on that and not the meth.

I also thought that things could have been better developed. The characters could have been more fleshed out and the plot just kind of ends. I would have liked more resolution. Other than that, I still enjoyed A Plague Year and definitely want to look out for more of Edward Bloor's work.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: received from Random Buzzers

2011/Knopf Books for Young Readers/296 pages.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - 110

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to see what new books are on the horizon.

Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton

Your strength in heart and hand will fall. . . .
Ellie knows that the darkest moments are still to come, and she has everything to fight for:

She must fight for Will.
The demonic have resorted to their cruelest weapons to put Will in mortal danger, and Ellie makes an unlikely alliance to save him and to stop Lilith and Sammael, who seek to drown the world in blood and tear a hole into Heaven.

She must fight for humanity.
As the armies of Hell rise and gather for the looming End of Days, Ellie and her band of allies travel to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions in her quest to come into her full glory as the archangel Gabriel.

And Ellie must save herself.
Her humanity withers beneath the weight of her cold archangel power, but Ellie must hold tight to who she is and who she loves as she prepares for the ultimate battle for Heaven and Earth.

In this final installment in the Angelfire trilogy, Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing bright conclusion. (from GoodReads)

The Angelfire Trilogy is one of my favorite series. Really, these books are amazing! They're exciting and well-detailed, and the romance is actually believable. I am so excited to see how everything ends. Shadows in the Silence will be released January 29, 2013.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - 56

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Freebie: Top Ten Classic Novels

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This is probably my favorite classic! It's on the long side but it's a very interesting and well-written story. There's even a forbidden romance!

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I know this is the quintessential romance novel but it's the beginning of it all! I love Mr. Darcy, as well.

3. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
I think Shakespeare is wonderful and this is definitely one of his top plays. I love all the court intrigue and plotting.

4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
No matter what kind of reader you are, many people cite this as one of their favorite books (my sister included!). It's surprisingly easy to read and the story is timeless.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Just like with some of the other books on this list, many people love To Kill a Mockingbird and I do as well!

6. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
It's so long but if you have the stamina I would definitely recommend Gone With the Wind for fans of historical fiction!

7. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
I absolutely adore the movie and the book is just as good!

8. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
This one doesn't get much love but it's such a good book. It's short and fairly easy to read, and also features a forbidden romance.

9. The Cather in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Another fan favorite - I had to include it on my list.

10. The Diary of Anne Frank
I read this in 8th grade (so long ago) but I remember really enjoying it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie--a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance--and even to some degree, friendships--believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most. (from GoodReads)

I absolutely adored Something Borrowed (also written by Emily Giffin) and the movie, so I was super excited to read something else by this author. Heart of the Matter wasn't quite as good, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

I didn't realize that Heart of the Matter was going to be about cheating again, but I find this to be an interesting topic. For many people it's a deal-breaker, but on the other hand so many people take back their significant other after they've cheated. Another dimension to this is the type of cheating. Most people consider cheating to be doing something physical with another person. But what about emotional cheating? Which is worse? We talked about this in my English class after reading Ethan Frome, which deals with emotional cheating.

Heart of the Matter switches point-of-view between Tessa and Valerie. Tessa is the wife of Nick, a pediatric surgeon, who is having an affair with Valerie. Getting both sides made it tough to pick which was "right" because I sympathized with both Tessa and Valerie. In Something Borrowed, we only get Rachel's perspective and it is colored by the fact that Darcy is not a nice person most of the book. In Something Borrowed, the cheating seemed more acceptable because no one was married or had any kids yet. It kind of made it easier to stomach.

The only person I didn't like was Nick. He had to be one of the most selfish people I've ever read about. If you want to cheat on your wife, that's one thing, but he would forgo spending time with his kids to be with Valerie. He spend more time with her and her son than his own family, which I just thought was awful. Also, Valerie's son was Nick's patient, so the affair was extremely unethical in addition to being morally wrong.

I was so excited to see Rachel and Dex return, because they're one of my favorite couples. It just so happens that Tessa and Dex are siblings. Rachel and Dex have the perfect marriage, which is commented on by every person. It's almost sickeningly sweet. It would have been better if there was something going on to show that they are not a perfect couple, but since we didn't get their POV, there was no additional information.

Overall I really did enjoy Heart of the Matter, especially that it tried to describe the different aspects and perspectives of cheating. It can be a gray area at times, and I liked seeing that addressed. Emily Giffin is a really good writer and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: bought used.

2010/St. Martin's Press/368 pages.