July 29, 2009

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Just the Sexiest Man AliveTaylor Donovan is an up and coming lawyer from Chicago who has come to L.A. to work on a case. She likes the sun and the sea very much, though she doesn't quite understand the celebrity obsession that seems to be the norm in town. So she's a bit baffled when her L.A. boss orders her to help Hollywood's favorite leading man Jason Andrews to research his upcoming role as a lawyer.

After he stands her up -twice- Taylor isn't very inclined to help him when he actually does show up, but since her boss won't let her wiggle out of it, Taylor is stuck with Jason much to her annoyance and his delight. Taylor is the first woman who hasn't automatically fallen in love with him and he finds that intriguing.

Taylor is a very nice, well-rounded character, I quite liked her and understood why she was a bit reluctant about falling in love, let alone falling for Jason. She's smart and funny and you get the sense she's a heck of a good lawyer. Now, Jason, he's an acquired taste, he starts as a bit childish and immature (and he's in his late thirties, by the way) but he eventually finds it within himself to grow up and then he actually turns into a very likable character.

Add an evil-ish up and coming Australian actor who wants Jason's career, Jason's best friend Jeremy and Taylor's best friends and her secretary, and the story is quite funny.


July 26, 2009

Story of My Life # 2 - On Evolution, Me & The Fourth Grade

Story of My Life #2 - On Evolution, Me & The Fourth Grade

There are a few things in my life that can be accountable for most of my neurotic but lovable self; and since this is Story of My Life you’ll probably get to hear most of the eventually, like right now.

Even though I wouldn’t call myself a devout Catholic, I was born and raised one and yet, for 11 years, I attended a Seventh Day Adventist school, all because said hell hole was right across the street from my grandma’s house.

When I was in the Fourth Grade we had a unit on how the world was created in Science. Now, if you have been around as many Adventists, Christians and hard core Catholics as I have, you’ll probably know some of them aren’t too keen on the idea of Evolution, in fact some of them will deny it until their last breath, and that’s just the way of things.

That day, all the way back in fourth grade, when I was expecting an explanation about Darwin and Natural Selection and such (my cousin was two grades ahead of me and in a different school, so I had some idea of what was coming, since I sometimes read her textbooks); I got a kid-friendly version of the first couple of chapters of the Genesis. When the teacher was done I raised my hand and when he finally acknowledged it – they were a bit chauvinistic at my school, mind you, girls almost always got called last – I asked “What about Evolution?”

What followed was a very long half hour of the teacher laughing at me and asking me if I really believe that I - not us, not humans in general, but I - came from monkeys. And that was the extent of the explanation I got. Oh and I got called Monkey-Girl for about two months after that.

Back then I couldn’t understand what the heck was the big deal, my parents were Catholics and people of science at the same time –they both have degrees in Chemistry- and it had never been a problem for them to believe in Evolution and in God. I never thought I would get in trouble for believing the same.

When I read the summary for Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature, Evolution Me and other freaks of naturea little part of me went back to the fourth grade and as I began to read Mena’s story I remembered a few things about back then, so it was very easy for me to identify with her and her struggle between believing in God and in science and her ultimate realization that even if she hadn’t figured out all the details, she believed both.

Since I left that Adventist school almost a decade ago, I transferred to a public prep school and went on to a failed attempt at studying journalism and eventually ended up studying and getting a degree in biology and even though I no longer identify myself as Catholic the way I was raised, God continues to be an important presence in my life.

The key of it - as I learned and as Mena learns in Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature- is in finding the balance. I have science to explain to me any number of things and I have my Faith to sustain me when science cannot. And, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the perfect arrangement.


July 25, 2009

They Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

The Boyfriend ListHigh School can be hell and Ruby Oliver knows it all too well.

It wasn't always like that though, once she was reasonably popular, had good friends and a boyfriend she loved, Jackson.

But then everything changed, she lost her friends, her boyfriend and is one of Tate Prep's most hated people. Oh, and she's now in therapy thanks to some truly freaky panic attacks she has been getting.

For her first therapy session, Doctor Z has Ruby write a list - the boyfriend list of the title - of all the boys that had affected her life somehow, from Adam Cox whom she knew in kindergarten, to Cabbie with whom she did something 'advanced' once.

As the list goes on, from boys 1 to 15, Ruby tells the tales of each of the boys and what they meant or didn't mean to her, and she also tells the story of how she went from reasonably-popular to leper of the Tate Universe.

I have to admit it took me a while to read this book, being deeply neurotic myself, at times it was hard to read Ruby's story, of her panic attacks and anxiety but her humor kept me reading and in the end I enjoyed The Boyfriend List a lot, and I'm really looking forward to reading The Boy Book and the upcoming Treasure Map of Boys.

Ruby is a very funny narrator and her voice rings true. I wasn't thrilled about Ruby's so-called friends (Kim and Cricket, Nora seemed ok), or Jackson. But there were other characters like Meghan, Noel and Hutch who were nicer to read about.



July 22, 2009

I got my first ARC!!!!

Okay, so a few weeks back someone at Little Brown emailed me about reviewing Ghostgirl and Homecoming by Tonya Hurley. I was so excited!!! But since I'm outside the US most of the time, I asked my cousin to pick them up for me since usually she comes down here for a while in the summer or we go visit her.
Anyway, I finally got them!
I got them over the weekend actually but things have been a little busy around here.
Confetti Girl
I haven't have a chance to read them but I did look them over and they look great, the covers and the inside art are amazing! Oh and I also got Confetti Girl by Diana López, who's a local Texan author - my cousin is from Texas, so I guess that's why they sent it, but hey! free book! YAY!.

Anyway, that's it for my little random note.


Ps- I took the pictures on my desk. Here is a broader look (Those aren't all of my books, just my new shelves).

July 20, 2009


The Second Book Blogger Appreciation Week is now accepting nominations of your favorite book blogs. You don't have to have a blog to nominate, btw.

So go now and nominate your favorite blogs.


July 19, 2009

Book Gossip (#12)

Book Gossip #12

Okay, so I was reading Romance Novel TV and saw a post on Harlequin Teen.

What is Harlequin Teen, you might ask?

Well, it's a new division of Harlequin, which will focus on romance for Teens! Particularly with a paranormal element.

Their upcoming titles include:
  • My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (out July 28th) about a girl who can sense when people are about to die.
  • Intertwined by Gena Showalter (out August 25th) about a 16 year-old with four human souls living inside his body.
  • Elphame's choice by P.C. Cast (out September 29th)
According to RNTV, Harlequin Teen has around 20 titles planned for 2010, which will include paranormal, sci fi and contemporary romances

Now, you're free to think whatever you want of Harlequin but - raunchy covers, and abundance of tycoons, billionaires and virgin brides aside - they have been around for 60 years and to this day they continue to be one of the strongest presences in romantic fiction (not to mention ebooks), and if one thing can be said for them is that they try to keep up with the times.


July 12, 2009

Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins

Catch of the dayCatch of the Day by Kristan Higgins.

Maggie has a talent for making a fool of herself in front of pretty much everyone from her small town, Gideon's Cove, Maine. Like that time she was dumped in front of everyone some ten years ago, or last year when she sort of fell in love with the new priest in town - she didn't know he was a priest at first, though.

Other than her talent for embarrassing herself and her crush on Father Tim; Maggie loves her life: she owns Joe's Dinner, has a really excellent dog and lots of friends. If only she would meet the right man, if only her mother would stop comparing her to her twin sister Christy who has a great husband and a baby.

In an effort to help Maggie get over his crush on him, Father Tim decides to play cupid, trying to fix her up with a series of men - all good and Catholic, of course - but when one of those dates goes awry, Malone - a loabsterman and Gideon's Cove's town loner - steps in to rescue her... and gives her the best kiss of her life.

So goes the road to romance.

Catch of the Day is a very fun book, Maggie is funny and sweet and she cares about everyone. Malone I liked right from the start, even though he isn't very talkative and hard to get to know, you do get the sense that he's a good man. Oh, and Maggie's dog Colonel is awesome.

As with Just One of the Guys, there are a lot of characters in this book, family and friends, and sometimes it's hard to keep track of who is who. And I also had a couple of pet peeves, mostly with Maggie though Malone wasn't completely innocent in the matter either.

But, over all, I enjoyed Catch of the Day a lot.

PS - Though sex is mentioned, there is nothing graphic in this book. Just letting you guys know.

July 10, 2009

The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

Meet Suze Simon: she's sixteen, her Mom just married a man with three sons, and moved her from New York City to Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. Oh, and she she is a Mediator, which means she can see and touch ghosts. In fact there is a ghost in her new bedroom.

Jesse de Silva was a young rancher who was killed at the age of 20 circa 1850 in Suze's bedroom back when her house was a boarding house. Ever since his untimely death, Jesse has stayed there not sure why he isn't anywhere else.

When Jesse first sees Suze - whom he calls Susannah, as in the song "Don't you cry for me" - and realizes she can see him and touch him, he's thrilled, even though, at first, Suze isn't so happy with the idea of a ghostly roommate.

Through the course of the six books that make this series, we get to know Suze and her new family, her friends old and new, her ghostly dad, and Jesse's past; not to mention Paul Slater, and the extent of a Mediator's powers.

Mediator is likely my favorite Meg Cabot Series so far - Airhead is running a close second right now, tied with 1-800-Where-R-U - Suze is the type of heroine more books should have: strong, smart and butt-kicking; she kind of reminds me of Buffy at times. And Jesse... well, he makes for a GREAT leading guy.

If you're looking for a series that's paranormal, has great characters, romance and a satisfying ending, pick up Mediator. You won't regret it one bit.


AnimeGirl's Personal Favorite b13

July 9, 2009

List Maniac # 1 - Books turned into Movies/Miniseries

Here is the unveiling of a new section I'm calling ListManiac, partially in response to one of the Bloggiesta challenges


In Real Life I happen to be a listmaker, even though everyone tells me it doesn't help any with my anxiety issues and that perpetual to-do lists don't let you reach happiness... but, what can I say? I love Lists, I love checking things off lists.

So, anyway, I'll be adding Lists as I can think them up.

ListManiac #1 - AnimeGirl's Favorite Books turned into Movies/Miniseries

These aren't all the books turned into movies or miniseries I've seen but they are the ones based on books I've actually read and loved.
  • Ivanhoe - One of Sir Walter Scott's masterpieces, set around the time of the crusades and full with castles, abductions, fair ladies and knights (even Robin Hood shows up!). Now, the story is supposed to be about Ivanhoe and Rowena but in both book and the A&E miniseries the relationship that shines through is the one between Rebecca of York and Brian de Bois-Guilbert (played by Ciarán Hinds). In fact, after Zagato from Magic Knight Rayearth and Darth Vader, he is my favorite villain. The mini-series is far more romantic than the book, but even so the scenes with Brian and Rebecca are to die for, you can feel the tension and the longing, and seriously, had I been Rebecca I would have forgotten my puppy love for Ivanhoe and hooked up with Brian instead (and yes, I'm aware Mr. Hinds ain't Mr. Hot but he plays Brian so well!).
  • the princess diaries
  • The Princess Diaries: Perhaps Meg Cabot's most famous series about high school freshman Mia Thermopolis who one day discovers she's a princess and heir to the throne of Genovia. Meg took Mia all the way to her high school graduation during the Princes Diaries Series, but this was the book that started it all, setting a tone of fun, teenage drama and romance. The movie is a bit different, it's sequel doesn't even have a parallel with any of the books, but I still watch it each time it comes on the Disney Channel.
  • Pride and Prejudice: I admit to watching the BBC miniseries first but then I went and read it from beginning to end and it was awesome. You can't say much about Pride and Prejudice other than go and read it.
  • Little Women: Right here, right now I'll admit to being a sucker for both this book and the movie. Sure, it holds my biggest couple disappointment since I totally believe that Laurie and Jo should have ended up together but what can I say? Besides, Christian Bale was both cute and hot in the movie.
  • A little Princes DVDA Little Princess: If you have ever read the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, you know that it's quite different from the movie - and I'm talking about the 1995 one, I hate the one with Shirley Temple because I can't stand the girl, sorry - but both the book and the movie are full of magic and the courage of a young girl who, after a terrible loss finds it within her to keep on dreaming and believing she is a princess... that we all are.
  • A Walk to RememberA Walk To Remember: This one is both special and different, one of the few times when I've actually liked the movie more than what I liked the book. Both my sister Boo and I love the movie, we have our cry-fest a few times a year when we watch A Walk To Remember and sob like babies because of it. The book was good, sure, but for me it lacked a bit of the dimension the actors gave it on screen.

So, that's for me, what about you?


July 7, 2009

Anthology Tails of Love

TailsTails of Love is an anthology edited by Lori Forster which features stories from 10 authors -Lori Foster, Stella Cameron, Kate Angell, Dianne Castell, Ann Christopher, Marcia James, Donna MacMeans, Sara McCarty, Patricia Sargeant and Sue-Ellen Welfonder- all with different styles and settings and with only one thing in common: each story has an animal - dog, monkey, cat and even a goat - in it, and said animal helps to bring a couple together.

Now, being my long standing belief that books are just better when there are pets on them, I couldn't pass on this book and it didn't disappoint.

Like I said before, each story is unique, some are longer than others, some did feel a bit rushed but, in the end, they were all wonderful.

Sure, like with all anthologies, some stories called to me a bit more (like A Knotty Tail by Stella Cameron and Scaredly Cat by Patricia Sargeant which featured the pet's point of view), there was one story that made me cry (Danny's Dog by McCarty) and some that were just funny (like Lord Hairy by Donna MacMeans), and a couple I didn't feel so strongly about; but all 10 stories highlight the connection and love between people and animals and what a wonderful thing a pet is.

Stories included are:
“Man’s Best Friend” by Lori Foster.
“A Knotty Tail” by Stella Cameron.
“Norah’s Arc” by Kate Angell.
“The Pursuit of Happiness” by Dianne Castell.
“Atticus Saves Lisa” by Ann Christopher.
“Rescue Me” by Marcia James.
“Lord Hairy” by Donna MacMeans.
“Danny’s Dog” by Sarah McCarty.
“Scaredy Cat” by Patricia Sargeant.
“A Man, a Woman, and Haggis” by Sue-​Ellen Welfonder.

Over all Grade:


PS- The proceeds from this book go to the Animal Adoption Foundation, a no-kill shelter.

July 5, 2009

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Being NikkiWARNING, spoilers for Airhead.

When we last checked in with Em Watts, her brain had been transplanted into teen super model Nikki Howard's body and she was being forced to live Nikki's life and keep on being the face of Stark Enterprises -since Stark was what made possible the whole brain transplant thing, to begin with.

During Being Nikki, Em begins to realize that perhaps Stark is way more evil than what she had first thought, forcing her to live Nikki's life was just the tip of the iceberg. Now Nikki Howard's mother is missing; something everyone conveniently forgot to tell her and which she only found out about because Nikki's brother Steven showed up to tell her. The fact Nikki even had a brother? yeah, Stark also forgot to tell her that.

Torn between her family and Nikki's, with her long time crush and once best friend Christopher going into the dark side and British heartthrob Gabriel Luna writing songs about her, not to mention the fact that she might have to parade around in a 1o million dollar bra in front of everyone for the Stark's Angels fashion show...what's Em to do now?

Secrets, romance, intrigue and humor, Being Nikki has it all.

Loved the book, I have to say that, though I like Airhead well enough, I think Being Nikki has a stronger plot and is definitely one of my favorite Meg Cabot books. And it has a few twists and turns I didn't expect.

Plus, I can't wait to see what happens on the next book Runway.

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