THE HELP By Kathryn Stockett

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE HELP By Kathryn StockettThe Help by Kathryn Stockett
Published by Berkley on 4/5/11
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 544
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyAli

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town..

Dear Friend,

Recently, I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I absolutely loved it! Why I didn’t read it sooner, I don’t know.

I picked up the book because its been my sister, Dani’s, favorite read of all time for a while now. It even holds a prominent place on her bookshelf.

I’ve seen the movie a while ago and thought it was very good. It never crossed my mind to read the book, though. Yet I’m so glad I did.

Seeing the movie beforehand didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book. Even though the characters were described differently than their movie counterparts, I still saw them as the actors who portrayed them.

You won’t be surprised, of course when I tell you that the book is so much better than the movie! It’s richly detailed and you grow to know Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minny on a deeper level. This story is rich with emotion, history, and relationships. The relationship between the main characters themselves, their families and friends, between blacks and whites, and maids and their employers.

After all I’ve said so far, you must know that I think you read this now. And if you’re like me, always looking for romance in what you read, you won’t be disappointed by miss Celia and Johnny.

I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Until next read 😉

Your Friend and fellow book-nerd,

Ali.

SmileRatingsSmileRatingsSmileRatingsSmileRatingsSmileRatings

 

FALLING INTO PLACE By Amy Zhang

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

FALLING INTO PLACE By Amy ZhangFalling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Published by Greenwillow Books on 9/9/14
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyAli

She would be an object in motion that would stay in motion, even if it meant flattening everything in her path.

One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? This haunting, nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High's most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn't understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn't understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Liz Emerson has been in an accident of her own doing, which began long before she ran her car into a tree. We go from present to past and back again to delve into Liz’s life and that of her friends, Julia and Kennie, to see how actions and interactions have the power to impact ourselves and those around us.

Amy Zhang has written a raw and mesmerizing story that’ll have you loving and hating Liz Emerson and her two best friends. They come across as typical superficial high school girls, but we come to see them as multi-layered characters who came to be a product of circumstance.

Falling Into Place is emotional and comes across as true to life. I’d recommend to not just YA readers but to those who have been or are now where Liz Emerson found herself, thinking the world would be better off without them. Engaging and heartfelt, readers will continue to ponder on this story even after the end.

Top Five Must See August Movies from Ali

Top Five Must See August Movies from Ali

Fantastic-Four-BannerFantastic Four

August 7, 2015

http://www.fantasticfourmovie.com/

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

-What can I say… I love movies based on comic books. I enjoyed two Fantastic Four movies that came out a few years ago, but I’m looking forward to this reboot. I’ve enjoyed the cast of this upcoming movie in other roles, so I’m excited to see them all together in this film.

man-from-uncle_poster_nws51

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

August 14, 2015

http://manfromuncle.com/

Action, Adventure, Comedy

-OMG! It was just a couple weeks ago that I first saw the trailer… until then, I hadn’t really heard much about this movie, but as soon as I saw the commercial, I was sold! The action looks great… and two hot guys, c’mon, I’m so there!

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Straight Outta Compton

August 14, 2015

http://www.straightouttacompton.com/

Biography, Drama

-I’m looking forward to seeing the story of NWA. From the trailer I saw long ago, it looks like a great story and I’m excited to see O’Shea Jackson Jr. play his father, Ice Cube.

american-ultra-movie

American Ultra

August 21, 2015

http://www.americanultrathemovie.com/

Action, Comedy

– American Ultra looks like a hoot and I’m ready for a laugh. Between Jesse Eisenberg playing a stoner, who is in fact a ‘sleeper’ government operative, to Kristen Stewart playing his live-in girlfriend, and Topher Grace as a government agent, there is sure to be some great laughs and some action, too.

HITMAN-AGENT-47-QUAD-SUMMER

Hitman: Agent 47

August 21, 2015

http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/hitman-agent-47

Action, Crime, Thriller

-I’d be lying if I said I was into this movie for more than the action, lol. I mean, I know there’s a story there, but the action is what I’m in it for… that and Zachary Quinto and Rupert Friend *drool*

 

What movies are you guys looking forward to?

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TWO WAY STREET by Lauren Barnholdt

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

TWO WAY STREET by Lauren BarnholdtTwo Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Published by Simon Pulse Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyAli

there are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.

 

When I first started reading this book, I was sure that my review would be scathing. Both the hero and heroine were annoying me. Between repetitive words or phrases and the constant mention of MySpace (this title was published in 2007), I wanted to throw it across the room. The book, I mean. There was one of the phrases that annoyed me, “I mean”. I understood what you meant the first time.

I would have played a drinking game for  each time I had to read “I mean” or “MySpace,” but I’m afraid a couple chapters of that and I’d be wasted.

I will say, as the story progressed, it did get better. I did come to like the characters a bit better. Not a lot, but a bit.

There are lines like this, that made me :/

“We’ve reached her locker now, and she starts to turn the combination dial. She’s biting her lip while she does it, and I suddenly have the urge to reach over and bite it for her. Her lip. Not her locker. God, I’m losing it.”

Did anyone really think he meant her locker? :/

I don’t feel that Courtney or Jordan had much character growth. They were much the same throughout the book. I especially don’t feel that Courtney had any growth. She was the same from beginning to end. With Jordan, I do think he realized in the end that what he did was a mistake and knew he needed to do things differently going forward.

Unfortunately, while I did come to like the book more when I finished than when I started, I can’t recommend it. It’s not a title I will reread. There is a companion novel, Right of Way, which I am tempted to look into, but only to see what happens to not only Courtney and Jordan, but also their friends Jocelyn and B.J.

 

THE GIFT by Karli Perrin

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE GIFT by Karli PerrinThe Gift by Karli Perrin
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Source: Reviewer Purchase
Buy the Book
Reviewed by Ali
It was the weekend before Christmas and the whole world was on countdown.
Except for me.
Last Christmas, I met a boy.
Last Christmas, we made a pact.
Christmas would never be the same.
Life would never be the same...

***Please note that this is a short story, not a full length novel. It is intended to be a quick, fun and flirty read.***

 
THE GIFT by Karli Perrin is a short and sweet Christmas themed New Adult Romance. It’s a short story, only 38pgs (on my kindle), but still manages to deliver a good romance. THE GIFT tells a sort of meet-cute romance where we’re introduced to Imogene and Blake, two college students, and watch them fall for each other during the holidays. It’s fun to read the banter between the two, the light teasing and flirtation.


I did have a couple ‘huh?’ moments… The story starts out in the present, with just a few lines, and then takes us back to a year ago, where it truly takes places. I don’t feel that this was necessary, as in the end, we’re not brought back to the present. The second moment takes place towards the end and felt as if it came out of nowhere. It may have been added to affirm the feelings of the couple, but I don’t feel that it was required.


While this is a novella, I didn’t find it lacking nor did I need it to be longer.  I will say, that I would gladly read another story where I get to find out more about Imogene and Blake and see how they are doing, though. I will definitely be checking out other reads by Ms. Karli Perrin.


This is a novella that I would recommend if you are short on time, but in the mood for a light and romantic holiday read.
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