Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin

Ellen is happily and newly married to the perfect man. Andy is funny, hansom, wealthy, and most of all is madly, deeply in love with her.  But, before Andy there was Leo.  Also hansom, and the ex-love-of-her-life!  Their chance meeting in an intersection stirs up many past memories causing Ellen to question her perfect life.  Doubt creeps in as Leo tries to re-kindle the flame.  Ultimately, Ellen has to make the biggest decision of her life: stay with her husband or give her first love another try.  

Another great audiobook from the library! I was worried about whether or not I would like this book since I hated Something Blue, my first Giffin novel. I'm glad I gave her another chance.  Ellen is easily a character who the reader can relate to.  As I was listening, it felt like I was listening to a girlfriend or something that has happened to someone I know.  All women can remember their first love or wonders what could have been if things had been different.  Even though she made some choices that I would normally call stupid, I found myself curious and on her side throughout the entire book. After all, we are all human and we all make mistakes, most are with the best intentions and some are understandably in the name of love.  Through Ellen's eyes, I fell in love with both Andy and Leo for different reasons.  I liked that despite her final decision, there was the possibility that things wouldn't end up perfect for her.  I didn't mind it but parts of it was a little cliche. Overall, I really enjoyed it from beginning to end and it is definitely possible that I will revisit this one sometime in the future.  

4 out of 5 STARS

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Something Blue - Emily Giffin

Darcy is a privileged woman who loves shopping and expensive things.  She is engaged to be married to her long time boyfriend Dex.  She has an affair with one of Dex's groomsmen, Marcus.  Eventually the engagement is called off. She confides her secret to her best friend Rachael only to discover her now ex-finance half naked in the closet.   Pissed, she vows never to talk to either of them again.  To make matters worse, she becomes pregnant with Marcus' baby and soon after he dumps her.  Down on her luck she relocates to London to live with her childhood friend Ethan, until she can get her life back on track.

This is a follow-up to another book called Something Borrowed.  I did not know this until after I had finished reading the book.  Maybe, if I had read that, then I would have liked this book a little more. Based on the description, my expectations were high and afterward I was disappointed.  Darcy is such an annoying character and I wish that her transformation was quicker.  She wined and moaned and complained and obsessed over Rachael and Dex for 20 chapters!! She reminds me of a girl in high school being dumped for the first time and she is supposed to be 30 years old? Although Marcus was a jerk, I can understand why he broke up with her.  The ending was extremely predictable but as much as I wanted to hate it ... I kind of liked it.  I still personally wouldn't recommend this book to any of my friends because the beginning was so long and drawn out. If I happen upon Something Borrowed I will probably read it since I'm familiar with all the characters and I heard it was better. The ending did make me give it 3 stars instead of the 2 I was planning on. If you are looking for some good chick lit  ... pass on this one.

3 out of 5 STARS

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters is the second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  It is about a boy who is a demigod (half human, half god) and the son of Poseidon set in the modern world.  In this installment, Percy is in his second year at Camp Half Blood where he is in training to be a hero.  We find that someone has poisoned Thalia's tree, which protects the camp making it the safest place on earth for developing heroes.  He also has a dream that his best friend, Grover, is in serious trouble.  He desperately wants to help but is told he has to stay at the camp.  Of course he doesn't and he and his friends Annabeth and Tyson set off on a quest to save Grover and the camp.   

After reading the first book, I had high expectations for this one.  It was good but definitely not as good as the first.  That being said, I still enjoyed it.  It is similar to The Odyssey and if you have read that, then this story is very predictable.  Riordan did add his own modern day spin to it, which is always nice.  One of the disappointing things about this book was its lack of the humor present in the first book.  The ending leaves you with a cliffhanger that makes you want to know more.  The wonderful thing about this series is that it's a well written adventure that is extremely addictive.  Although this one was kind of sub par, I'm connected with the characters and it makes me wonder what the next adventure will be about.  I will soon be reading the next installment The Titan's Curse. 

4 out of 5 STARS

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Stray - Rachel Vincent

Meet Faythe,  your seemingly average college grad student, except she is also a werecat.  After high school, her whole life had been planned out for her, she was supposed to marry Marc and have little werekitties.  Herein lies the problem, Faythe is a strong, independent female who doesn't want that life for herself.  She convinced her father, who doubles as the Alfa male, to allow her to go to college instead.  For five years she has escaped her duty to her Pride, until she is attacked by a stray.  For her own protection, she is forced back into Pride-life under lock and key.  She is one of eight tabbies who are of child birthing age and two of them have gone missing.   Faythe's stubbornness and failure to follow the rules gets her into serious trouble not to mention her relationship woes in this supernatural thriller.  

I was very excited to get my hands on this book because I had heard so many great things about it.  I also couldn't wait to read a book on a tough chick who happens to shift.  The beginning starts off a little slow, with our heroine being all talk but no action.  There were some things stated that I felt could have been cut out.  Once you get past all the preliminaries, it actually turns out to be a good book.  Towards the end, I couldn't put it down and things mentioned in the slow parts resurface to make a big impact.  Parts were a little predictable but there are enough twists to counter that. I like the romance present but I would have to say I rooted for Jace instead of Marc.  Marc was a little too much of hot head despite his looks. I don't think it's over between Faythe and Jace just yet.  At a little over 600 pages, I finished this book pretty quick and I would recommend it to adult readers interested in reading about a strong, female lead with a touch of the un-ordinary. I do plan on reading the next book in this series Rogue. 

 4 out of 5 STARS 

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The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong

This is the final installment of the Darkest Powers Trilogy.  Again, this one picks up where the last book left off.  Despite trying to recall the events of the previous book, once I got further into the story it all came flooding back.  Chloe and the rest of the gang have found Andrew, a family friend of Simon and Derek, and finally feel at ease with someone they trust.  They are in hiding trying to figure out a strategy to go back to the Edison Group and rescue Chloe's Aunt Lauren and their friend Rae.  Amidst  this major problem, Chloe finds herself caught between  not only two guys but two brothers.  She likes Simon but Derek and her have formed a very close bond. More trust issues arise as they continue to learn more about the Edison Group and the people who seemingly want to take them down.  In the conclusion of a great series, almost everything is answered and I couldn't put it down.  

This was a great end to a really good trilogy.  This book is fast pace and holds the reader's interest until the very end.  I liked that we got to learn even more about the characters, especially Tori.  It was nice that they all got some experience training with their powers however short lived it was.  Although Chloe still wines about her powers not being useful, it's bearable and clear that she has gained some maturity through her experiences.  Derek has been my favorite character throughout the series.  The more I read about him the more I liked his character.  I loved how the dynamics change between Chloe, Derek, and Simon.  Armstrong did a wonderful job at mixing romance and suspense and I have to say, for me, this was a page turner. The ending leaves you wanting to know more and I really wish there were going to be another book.  I almost read the whole book in one setting.  I highly recommend this trilogy to anyone interested in reading good books with a little supernatural flare. 

The reason I didn't give this book a 5-STAR rating is simple ... there are too many questions that I would have like to have answered. Maybe it was Armstrong's goal to leave the audience in suspense and let them decide for themselves.  But, in addition to other things,  I wanted to know  the explanation for the changes in the color of Chloe's necklace. 

4.5 out of 5 STARS 

I will definitely be reading The Gathering, after reading the preview at the end of this book.  I'm just going to have to be patient since it isn't due to come out until early next year.

* Update** I was told that reason that Chloe's necklace changed colors is due to the fact that she is getting stronger.  However, there is a part in the book (I don't want to give it away but when Chloe and Tori were in the cemetery) where it seemed like they were going to further explain the necklace.  

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