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With so many fantastic genres and authors, how can one person choose the perfect book to match their specific tastes and moods? Here we are happy to help, providing novel descriptions and firsthand reviews on many new and classics along with must reads for any book lover, young and old!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I know. I know. It has been a LONG time since I have been on. Life as we all know, intervenes and can be a B*&#h!! However, my reading lists has only grown, and throughout this passage of time, more and more books have been added to the "TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THEM" list. Coming soon (I promise), is my review on Lover At Last by Ward. Oh my goodness, just you wait!! And if you have read it, leave me a comment on what you thought.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell

Book Description

In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.

In this vivid account of the U.S. Army's legendary 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.

At twenty-four years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon (a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws) and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush. Barely surviving the attack, Parnell's men now realized that they faced the most professional and seasoned force of light infantry the U.S. Army had encountered since the end of World War II.

What followed was sixteen months of close combat, over the course of which the platoon became Parnell's family: from Staff Sergeant Greg Greeson, the wise, chain-smoking veteran who never lost his cool; to Specialist Robert Pinholt, a buttoned-down conservative with the heart of a warrior and the mind of an economist; to Staff Sergeant Phil Baldwin, the platoon's voice of calm and reason, a man who sacrificed everything following the events of 9/11—career, home, financial stability just to serve his country. But the cost of battle was high for these men. Over 80 percent were wounded in action, putting their casualty rate among the highest since Gettysburg, and not all of them made it home.

Fine Printings' Review

Let's face it ... I do not normally do non-fiction. Almost never. It is in this reader's opinion that, why would anyone want to subject themselves to others woes? Life sucks as it is, reading is an escape, where we can live in a fantasy world, even if just briefly. Why then would one willingly choose to read and suffer through another's anguish and pain?

 Though no one to this date has answered these questions to my satisfaction, I will not just completely ignore the genre. Hence the review of a book almost guaranteed to be painful from its description alone ... Surprise, surprise, I LOVED it. Parnell's accounts are beautifully phrased, that one can almost feel themselves among these men. Feel the rock under boots, distant gun report, the light breath of the man crouched next to you. Packed with memories, both poignant and brutally honest, it is one of the few war based non-fiction novels I have read that thrilled endlessly and wanted me to cheer those boys on. 

So, take a chance, that is all I'm asking. Sometimes going outside your comfort zone can bring startling results and a gem one would never have expected. 

(Don't forget the tissues)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins

Book Description

After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns - a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father’s wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she’s not thrilled … even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.

Having to fend for herself for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist’s assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn’t the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn’t the only thing that needs a little TLC…

Fine Printings' Review

Another hit by Kristan Higgins. Her books always get to me, and this one was no exception. I will buck up and confess that tears certainly were spilled, happy ones. Though there was not as much humor in this story as say, Just One of the Guys and All I've Ever Wanted (admittedly my favorites) but it was warm, wholesome and fulfilling, a Higgins hallmark.

Also if you are a fan of Higgins (as any romance enthusiast should be), the story centers around Parker Welles. Best friend of Lucy and Ethan's ex from The Next Best Thing. Talk about a blast from the past! Not only do we get to play catch up and see how their romance progressed but as luck would have it, the readers' also get to meet up with all the players from Gideon's Cove. Of course that includes Maggie and Malone from Catch of the Day! Talk about awesome. The first novel where we get to see characters from not just one previous book, but two!

Now, to make this perfect, I just have one question for Kristan Higgins ... where can we find our very own James Cahill???? Rowr!

Interested in any of the books mentioned in this post? Check them out:


Friday, May 11, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E L James


When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her too - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

Fine Printing's Review

Color me shocked. Not about the books themselves, but about the PUBLICITY behind these books! I read all three a couple weeks ago, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. And they were wonderful! Fair warning, these are definitely for Mature Readers ONLY. However, since they have hit the top of NY and USA Today Bestseller list the reviews have been mixed. Mostly positive, but the negative feedback seems rude and borderline vitriol.

Yes, these are erotica books. And yes, they are now mass produced, but what is wrong with that? Someone can go almost anywhere today and buy pornography videos (soft or hardcore), and stores in the mall even sell "personal" massage-rs. <---- That is wrong, because it is in view of children and the like, however, erotica writing is nowhere in this low class consumerism. These books, sold by actual publishers, are an art form. And I give a hand to E L James for being brave enough, and well written to form a solid storyline.

These books are not all sex, sex, SEX. Sure there is plenty of hot, detailed scenes which she writes well. But these two characters, Ana and Christian, and their development is the central plot. Finding who they truly are. Ana's darker, braver and trusting side. While Christian learns to truly love, honor, and let go of his demons. A touching romancing that builds well through all three novels. I truly loved them, and read the trilogy twice through!

The only downside I found for it, was James' writing style. This quite possibly is my own issue, and not something other readers will have trouble with. I give leniency because this is her first foray into the writing world and the storyline is inventive, the plot flows well. But phrases are used repetitively throughout the story arc and also within a page of the last time it was used. As I said, could be just my own pet peeve but was the one point I found quite irritating. 

In the end, a wonderful story, and as someone who has written erotic fiction, I am proud to see one come so far. To all the critics out there, just because you think of it as "Mommy porn" or some other derogatory term, does not mean you should put down others for enjoying it. Picking up this story can be difficult for a lot of people not familiar with the genre and it's a brave step to make. They are not evil or demeaning as made out to be. Guaranteed that women and men of all adult ages will enjoy it!

02/12/2014 - Now, I wrote this after reading the series once. I did pick it up to read again and I must have just been enthralled with the erotic storyline the first time thru. Disappointing. When you re-read books you have a chance to pick up on the nuances you miss when being absorbed in a story for the first time. The writing is spectacularly horrific. And yes, this seems dramatic, but James writing is dramatically bad. The characters are not well developed, and it seems that Ana may have severe bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia. Christian seems almost normal by comparison. And as I stated in my previous review, her writing style leaves a lot to desire. But the second time through was AGONY on my soul. So much so that I went out, bought all three in paperback format and edited the entire thing. Crossing out paragraphs, re-writing scenes and just ripping pages out! My OCD just wouldn't let it rest!
If you're like me, and a very avid reader, don't bother unless honestly curious. If you're a pick-it random reader, or occasional reader at leisure then go for it. You quite possibly won't notice the faults with these novels. If you do ... sorry. :-(

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie

The Hunger Games: Movie

Are you like me? Read the books and been waiting on pins and needles for the opening day to see The Hunger Games movie? Or are you someone who would rather forgo the books, however saw the trailer, and decided that the movie might be worth seeing? Either way, it is definitely worth the $15 movie ticket and a couple hours spent in a packed theater.

First off, Lionsgate made a smart move by snagging the author of the series, Suzanne Collins, as an executive producer. Giving her a lot of control over the script and casting. You could see the impact she had on the movie, keeping the storyline real to the original book. One does not necessarily have to read the book to feel the nuances of the characters and desperation of a country on the verge of revolting.

The cast was another great feature to the film. Although there was some upheaval in the beginning about Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss, mainly because of her age (21) and looks, she portrayed the character to perfection. And the two male leads, Liam Hemsworth (Gale) and Josh Huncherson (Peeta), played their perspective roles well. This did not feel like some pumped up soap opera teen drama, like another movie series that I will respectfully not name here. The Hunger Games was mature, well timed, and plot controlled. And on a side note, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna were quite surprising and excellent in their roles.

However, there were two small hitches to the film. Nothing major and even one I completely understand and was unavoidable, and that one point was the violence. Due to the novels being ranked as Young Adult books (although quite violent), Lionsgate had to make sure the movie retained a PG-13 rating so they could bring in their main audience. That meant taking out some scenes and/or removing A LOT of violence. This did not necessarily hurt the movie, but where I read the book, during some scenes I found myself thinking that certain deaths were very tame compared to how they should have been. Again, though, I understand the need for this.

Last hitch was Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. In no way did he NOT do a good job, the role just did not fit the character we know. And that may be more the script writer's fault and not Harrelson's. We may never know. Though Haymitch is supposed to be completely inept, a bit of a fool and a (pardon me) jackass, he is not really played off as such in the movie. Haymitch is still a drunk, but not overly so and he seems to show more favoritism with Katniss than Peeta, which in the novel is opposite.

These issues are besides the point. Go see this movie! I guarantee it will be one of the best movies this year, and most certainly the best sci-fi. Let me know what you think!

The Hunger Games Trailer:

The Hunger Game Series by Suzanne Collins

Book Description

The Hunger Games

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used to be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules , and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Fine Printing's Review

The Hunger Games along with the subsequent books (Catching Fire and Mockingjay) is a prime example of genius writing by author Suzanne Collins. I was hesitant to pick up the books. My tastes tend to veer away from most YA novels, as well as stories that will knowingly not end well. However, I started out, promising to read only the first one so I could write a review and end there. Thirty-six hours,  eleven cups of coffee, and a refusal to sleep later ... all three books had been read. I am pitiful ... I KNOW. In my defense this story is really fantastic, and will drag you in, whether you wish to or not.

Katniss is the perfect heroine: young, brave, determined, family centered and quite literally willing to die for others. And Collins subtle yet poignant shows of government tyranny and the degradation caused by reality television reminds us of today's society.  Also, the relationships formed, lost, and strengthened throughout the storyline will make a reader laugh, cringe and cry.

There is not much else I can find to say, really because I do not wish to give away any of the plotline. If you are a reader or not, if you are 16 or even 61, these are books that you can pick up and enjoy.
If you have read them, or do read them, leave a comment and let me know what you thought. The books have caused a lot of controversy and I am very fascinated to see how others might react!

Warning: Although this series is considered Young Adult, I feel they should hold a rating, just like a movie. This is a VIOLENT and GRAPHIC series. Rest assured there is no intercourse, but the violence is strong and detailed. I would not suggest letting someone under the age of 16 read this series, unless as their parent you consider them emotionally mature and/or have read the series beforehand and deemed them acceptable. Otherwise, happy reading!