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violetcrush has commented on (6) products.

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Going Too Far

violetcrush, July 31, 2009

Going too far is such a sweet book. On the surface it’s a love story but that’s not all it is.

Meg is a 17 year old girl with blue hair and an attitude that has put her in trouble many times. John is a cop. Because of an incident at the unsafe town bridge, Meg is an unsafe bridge in the town, Meg and her friends are arrested and she has to spend a week patrolling with John as a substitute to being put in jail.

The week they spend together is an eye-opener for both John and Meg. As they struggle to cope with the situation and as the blurb says ‘drive each other over the edge’, they realize that they both have some growing up to do. And it’s not sudden or magical.

John and Meg are such likable characters. And the best part is you can sympathize and understand both even if they are on different sides of the fence. If I did have my doubts about how 2 people so different could fall in love convincingly, they were baseless. It was fantastic to see them falling for each other.

As I said before, this book is much more than a teenage love story. It’s also about coming to terms with your fear and insecurities. It’s about broadening your horizons and cutting ties with things and emotions that pull you down.

But…it’s still a light read. It’s fun and hot and exciting. Jennifer Echols has done a wonderful job with Going too Far.

Obviously recommended. Read it if you like light hearted stories or just want to have some good time. Don’t get me wrong, this story is complex, but fun anyway. I have to read other books Jennifer Echols has written.
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And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman
And Then Everything Unraveled

violetcrush, July 3, 2009

Cordelia Truesdale or Delia had a nice, carefree life in California with 2 best friends and a school she likes. All this comes to an abrupt end when her mom T.K goes on an environmental trip to Antarctica. Her ship is said to have disappeared and everyone, including her mom’s manager Thad, believes she is dead. But Delia is not convinced. After all there no body is found.

When her mother’s will is read, Delia is sent to her aunts Patience and Charity to New York. Although Delia believes her mom is going to return, she has no choice. She decides to investigate into the matter from New York.

This book was awesome, really. I could not keep it down. It was just so much fun with all the quirky characters. The fun and carefree Charity, the controlling and uptight Patience, her genius geek friend Natalie, the psychic Carolina, and yes the very cute and handsome Quinn. Quinn reminded me a lot of the guy from the movie The Cinderella Story staring Hilary Duff. A caricature, yes, but cute anyway. The sense of humor was amazing and I found myself laughing out loud many times.

From the blurb I thought this book would be funny, but I was really unprepared for how sad I felt for Delia and what she was going through. Maintaining a level of humor and yet making Delia’s pain real was a very good and difficult balance. That was one of the reasons I liked the book more.

I was kind of surprised when everyone called their parents by their first name. I mean, is that normal? I didn’t find any explanation of that in the book, so it left me a little confused. But other than that, And Then Everything Unraveled
was very good.

This book obviously has a sequel. But this book has just released, so I wonder how long I will have to wait for that. Anyway, do read it if you like Young adult or just want to tuck into a nice, fun novel.
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Vamped by Lucienne Diver
Vamped

violetcrush, July 1, 2009

Gina Covello wakes up in a coffin after she dies in an accident. To her horror she realizes she is a Vampire and the boy who made her one, Bobby, is one of the geeks turned dashing and handsome vampire too. Bobby is kidnapped by Mellisande and Gina is sent to a dungeon like place where she finds many of her classmates, apparently turned into vampires too.

Now Gina has to discover Mellisande’s purpose in building a teenage vampire army. And also why Bobby is singled out by her? What exactly does Mellisande want?

Gina is such a likable vamp. She cares about her manicure, brands, her hair, but yes, she also has a conscience which makes for interesting conversations with herself.

This book was so much fun, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author, Lucienne Diver, has a sarcastic and snarky sense of humor and a very fresh voice.

If you want to read a chic, cool and fun vampire story, you should definitely read this one. If you want to read something different than the hordes of dark vampire books, Vamped is definitely it.

The only problem with the book was that the action was a little difficult to follow at times. As there is one POV to the story, Gina’s, the reader is left as confused and in the dark as Gina is. You kind of discover and understand what’s going on along with Gina. The end is open ended so I am guessing there is a sequel? I have read this book being compared to Buffy, but I wouldn’t know as I haven’t seen a single episode yet. Sad, I know.

If you like Young Adult or Chicklit, this book is definitely for you. Vamped could be a perfect beach read.

One of the passages just to give you an example of the writing style:
Superhuman strength or no, by the time I broke through to the surface, my manicure was totally shot, my nails were split, and I was covered in dirt. And I mean covered. I was about to wig out when I realized just what I was brushing off-and one shock kind of cancelled out the other. My parents had me buried me in a truly heinous dress of white eyelet, which made me look like a stylistically challenged child bride. I had a vague repressed memory of being forced to wear it to my first communion years ago and marveled that it still fit. Not that I’d grown out, except for, you know, up top. Sadly, I hadn’t done much growing up either; I’d maxed out at, like, five foot nothing. Anyway, if anything deserved to be covered in grave dust, it was this old rag.
(Any mistakes, in spelling or grammar, are all typos from my side)
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The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen

violetcrush, June 18, 2009

“My love is unique–no one can rival her, for she is the most beautiful woman alive. Just by passing, she has stolen away my heart”.

This poetry was written by Ramesses for his beloved wife Nefertari and engraved on the walls of her burial site. The Heretic Queen is the story of this woman and her struggle to achieve her dream.

The entire family of Nefertari is wiped out in the fire and her mother Mutnodjmet dies after giving birth to her. Nefertari is left alone in the royal castle with her nurse Merit. But Nefertari’s present and future is plagued by her past, by the deeds of her heretic ancestors, her aunt Nefertiti and Akhenaton. Nefertari is in love with Ramesses, the son of Pharaoh Seti and the heir to the throne. But Ramesses is forced to choose Iset as his wife because the people of Egypt are against making a heretic’s niece a queen and fear the wrath of Amun, their God.

Ramesses marries Nefertari later against everyone’s wishes but he cannot make her the Chief Queen. Nefertari has to win the hearts of her people first and prove to them that she is not a heretic like her aunt Nefertiti.

Author Michelle Moran has yet again managed to bring ancient Egypt to life. She is a superb storyteller and knows how to fill in the historical gaps and make the characters more compelling than they might have been in reality. Nefertari was more likable than Nefertiti but it could also be because in this novel, the narrator itself was Nefertari. This book shows her struggle to win over her people, to keep Iset and her enemies at bay, to help Ramesses and the court. But underneath it all, The Heretic Queen is essentially a love story, a love story between Ramesses and Nefertari.

I have always been interested in Egypt and have read and seen so much about it that I was utterly confused between the innumerable pharaohs and queens. This book sorted it out for me. It kind of gave me a sketch. Michelle Moran also gives in the Historical Facts behind her book as to what is assumed, so there is no question of being misguided. Although not as dramatic and scandalous as Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen is equally fascinating. Author Diana Gabaldon calls Nefertiti “Compulsively readable!” and the same can be said for “The Heretic Queen”. This book is entertaining and a pure pleasure to read.

Rating: 4.5 rounded to 5
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Mommy, I'm Still in Here: One Family's Journey with Bipolar Disorder by Kate L Mclaughlin
Mommy, I'm Still in Here: One Family's Journey with Bipolar Disorder

violetcrush, June 11, 2009

I am constantly surprised by the knowledge books provide, the way they let you experience and imagine things that could never have been possible otherwise. The way they tell stories that surprise, horrify or humble you. Mommy I’m still in here is one such story. As the tag line says ‘It is the story of a family’s journey with bipolar disease’.

I don’t know about others but I knew nothing about bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness.

"Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illness that is biological in its origins, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it; an illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and, not infrequently, suicide."

The author Kate had a perfect family with husband Mark and 3 children Chloe, Michael and Monica, all 3 years apart. Everything is going fine when the eldest daughter Chloe at the age of 17 suddenly experiences severe mood swings and depression. After doctor appointments and observations Chloe is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. As the depression and mood swings increase, Chloe also starts hallucinating. She sees and hears things that are not there. Her relationship with her mother and siblings becomes strained due to her constant mood swings.

Kate also goes through a series of emotions like confusion, desperation, grief and guilt. Kate blames herself for not recognizing the signs early even though she knew there were a lot of cases of depression and substance abuse in the family.

When after constant monitoring Chloe’s illness becomes somewhat manageable, her son Michael is diagnosed with the same illness. He starts drinking and taking drugs to feel normal.

We can imagine what a mother goes through when one of her child falls sick, this twice is a mother’s nightmare. Kate has made a lot of sacrifices for her children. She explains the difficulties of living and caring for a chronically ill person. This one dialog had chills running down my spine. It’s when Chloe attempted suicide by cutting her nerves and after Kate patched her up.

"Through it all, Chloe did not fight me, did not talk, and did not respond. When we were finished, she raised her face to mine and stated matter-of-factly, “Next time I’ll cut the other way, straight down the vein. It’ll be faster and you won’t be able to fix it.” "

This is also Kate’s story. She learned not to blame herself when she finally admitted to herself and to others that she is not responsible for what happened or will not be responsible for what happens in the future. Kate says she has come to terms with the fact that eradicating her children’s illness is not the solution.

"If we believe that disabilities must be altered or abolished, then we imply that the absence of disability equals a good life. But does it? Because if that’s true, one might deduce that anyone with a disability is inferior. That line of reasoning leads to a horrible, deeply disturbing, and dangerous arena.

Disability does not require solution or abolition, but understanding, and when necessary, temperature to allow the disabled to function more fully.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. It does not go away. Chloe and Michael will always have it. It will forever alter their lives, and as a result, will alter ours too. Nevertheless, we embrace the experience and anticipate future legs of the journey because we know that this world, this life, offers everybody opportunities to learn and grow and evolve. "

Okay, I’ll stop else I’ll end up quoting the entire book. All I can say is please, please, please read this book. It is sad, horrifying, depressing, uplifting, encouraging, gripping, informative, moving and hopeful. I hope Chloe, Michael and even Monica is doing fine. I hope the entire family is doing fine. I would like to take back my sentence ‘The author Kate had a perfect family…’ and correct it to ‘The author Kate has a perfect family…’. A family that supports one another, that understands each others problems and accepts it without judgment is nothing more than perfect.

Did you know that Napoleon, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath, John Keats, Virginia Wolf, Vincent Van Gogh were possibly victims of Bipolar disorder?
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