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September 10, 2011

Just Released: Boyfriend from Hell

Boyfriend From Hell by E. Van Lowe
paperback, 280 pages
Published August 30, 2011 by White Whisker Books
ISBN 9780983632900
Source: Author
Read September 2011
Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon

I'm trying to get through the books I picked up at ArmchairBEA and Boyfriend from Hell was one I was really looking forward to reading. Unfortunately, I kept getting side tracked by library books and just not enough time in the day to read. Luckily, this was an easy read and even when I had to set it aside for days on end I could easily jump back into the story.

With such a title and that it is a young adult book, I was hoping for a bit more humor. Even with the lack of laughs, it was a good book. In the beginning, I related more to the mom Suze and her dating woes as I have not been in Megan's shoes of having a single parent wanting to date. But the more I got to know Megan the more I could relate as I recalled my days in high school and by the end I could empathize with her and kind of wanted to tell her "friends" off for abandoning her.

Probably the best thing about Boyfriend from Hell is it sets up the series well. Hopefully, the sequel Earth Angel will be able to build on the momentum started by Boyfriend from Hell. I am also hoping we get a little more insight in to Matt. Something about his confession seemed contrite and forced and I wonder if we don't have the full story yet, or if it was a plot misstep. 

As paranormal stories are not typically my thing, one that grabs my attention and I enjoy is rare. Boyfriend from Hell definitely got my attention to the point I stayed up too late so I could finish it. And I enjoyed it to the point I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Earth Angel (and I have no idea when it's coming out, so I'm feeling a bit impatient with the wait as well).  E. van Lowe is active on Twitter and responds, so if you like to interact with the authors you read follow him at @Evanlowe

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.

September 7, 2011

Idealistic with some realism: Leaving

Leaving (Bailey Flanigan Series)Leaving (Bailey Flanigan Series) by
audio book, Narrators:

Listened September 2011

I tend to stay away from Christian romance novels. For this reason, I have never read anything by Karen Kingsbury, though I have many friend who have and love her work. The reason I don't like reading Christian romance novels is because they are often too idealistic and lack a sense of reality. Leaving was definitely idealistic, but there was a dose or two of reality that made it digestible to me.

I really like that chapters with Landon and Ashley. I wish the book had focused more on them than on Bailey, but again the series is called Bailey Flanigan so I guess she had to be at the forefront of the book.

I didn't know that Bloomington, Indiana was such a Hollywood hotspot. Having landed a staring role in a hot Hollywood film with new leadning man Brandon, Bailey's life doesn't seem like your average college co-ed's. Pair that with have an NFL coach for a Dad and more devotely Christian family than is the norm, the life Bailey leads is not something I can relate to. I also found her to be a bit whiny and annoying. She has everything going for her and yet she's discontent because the guy she thought she loved left her months ago and hasn't contacted her.  Her "woe is me" attitude made me dread her chapters. I did like how she is following her dream and stepping out of her comfort zone by taking a role in Broadway musical Hairspray. 

Landon and Ashley added the dose of reality that kept me from throwing in the towel with this book. Maybe it is because I'm closer in age to this couple and though I don't have a young family and husband, I could understand what they were going through. I hope they will make more appearances in the series.

As I contemplate change within my own life, Leaving did give me food for thought and encouragement. As I stressed about life, the Bible verses and how the characters (especially Cody) dealt with life helped to calm me and reassure me (at times I strongly wondered if it wasn't by Divine intervention that I was listening to this book). 

While I thought Bailey's mom's advice was good (who doesn't want a man to pursue them like a dying man in a desert pursues water) again it idealistic nature of the book. Seriously, it seemed like more of a communication problem keeping Cody and Bailey apart than desire. Guys need encouragement to pursue a girl (they don't want to face rejection any less than a girl does).

Though Bailey annoyed me (I wanted to yell at her that there was more to life than boys and falling in love), there was also something about her that endeared her to me. Maybe it was her unwavering faith. Or the fact I could see myself in her. Whatever it was makes me want to continue with the series (though I might have to stock up on some realistic drama to keep me from becoming morose with my own life).

So my view on Leaving is a bit mixed because of the nature of the genre. Karen Kingsbury is an excellent writer and I can see why so many people like her books. If you enjoy Christian romance, then this would be a great choice for you.

September 5, 2011

Video: What should I read next?

Finished Reading...

Boyfriend From Hell (Falling Angels Saga)Leaving (Bailey Flanigan Series)

Still Reading...

Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure

What to read next?
If you watched the video, you know that I need your help deciding which book to read next. Please leave a comment with your vote.

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