#SRC2015 Review – The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall

The Balance Project
By: Susie Orman Schnall
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

*I received a free print copy of The Balance Project from BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015 in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis

The Balance Project is a story of loyalty, choices, and balance that will resonate deeply with all women who struggle with this hot-button issue. Loyal assistant Lucy Cooper works for Katherine Whitney, who seems to have it all: a high-powered job at a multibillion-dollar health and wellness lifestyle company, a successful husband, and two adorable daughters. Now, with the release of her book on work-life balance, Katherine has become a media darling and a hero to working women everywhere. In reality, though, Katherine’s life is starting to fall apart, and Lucy is the one holding it all together, causing her own life―and relationship with her boyfriend Nick―to suffer. When Katherine does something unthinkable to Lucy, Lucy must decide whether to change Katherine’s life forever or continue being her main champion. Her choice will affect the trajectory of both of their lives and lead to opportunities neither one could have imagined.

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My Thoughts

The front cover of The Balance Project says “If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll enjoy this charming romp..” When I read this quote, I was a little weary because I actually didn’t like DWP when I read it; I loved the movie, though! I was pleasantly surprised reading this book, however. I enjoyed the storyline quite a bit more, regardless of the similarities between the two stories. I found the lives of the characters in the story to be realistic and entertaining. Finding balance in life is a very difficult thing, especially when you throw in the various life events that each character has to go through. I enjoyed that Schnall spent time developing each of her characters, allowing their quirks to show through the story, and working on their various issues.

My favorite character in The Balance Project is Ava, Lucy’s best friend. Her daily quotes and strong outlook are something that I relate to. Lucy, on the other hand, bothered me for some reason. I completely understand being in a position to help you get to another, but there are certain circumstances that I just wouldn’t tolerate. She lacked strength in my eyes, and I didn’t appreciate the way she treated Nick at times. Nick was also a bit frustrating, but I understood him a bit more. Then there’s Katherine – I actually really liked her. What you see on the outside is not always what you get. How often do we pull ourselves together for our audience (family, friends, coworkers) and on the inside we’re blowing up?

A lot occurred in this book, though the pace was slower than I’d have liked to read. Additionally, there were some pretty significant editing errors that caught my eye throughout. Despite this, I think this was a good book. This is a great summer (or any season) read for someone who enjoyed a bit of conflict, strong female characters, and a bit of drama.

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The Final Countdown

Characterization – 3.5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
Editing – 3.5/5 Stars
Ending 3/5 Stars

Total: 3.5 Stars

Buy Links:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
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AUTHOR BIO
  • Writer of fiction, essays, editorial, and endless to-do lists.
  • Mom of three hilarious boys who play ball in the house.
  • Author of The Balance Project: A Novel about work-life balance and On Grace, an enchanting and thought-provoking debut about turning 40.
  • Founder of The Balance Project popular interview series about the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze
Author links:
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A: An Announcement or Two

A

I am participating in the A To Z Challenge again this year. I did this last year when I was first taking off with my blog, so what better way to get back into the swing of things than to hop on board the alphabet train again? Today’s letter is A! So I have a few announcements to kick this all off.im back doctor

Get back into the swing of things? Well, some of you may have noticed that I went from posting all the time to suddenly being very MIA since the new year started… Well… I’ve got a really good reason… Baby Announcement

Luckily, I’m getting back into the swing of things. My energy is coming back and I’m reading again. (I know! It was so strange going so long without really reading a book for pleasure.)

96d90-into2bthe2bfire_final_highI also finished editing another book for Michele G. Miller: Into The Fire. It is so freakin’ good. I swear. Her books just keep getting better! Best yet, it released this weekend, so you can get a copy of your own!! I will post a review in the next couple of days, but definitely head over to Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else you can get awesome books and pick this one up. You won’t regret it!! Here are some order links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1EOdct4
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1zMsSK8
B&N: http://bit.ly/1Fe6hgv
Kobo: http://bit.ly/18KvWR8

 

So, since it’s been a while… Let’s kick things off on the right foot… or the left if you’re a marching band geek like me…

It's Wednesday! What are you rading

 

Blog Tour | Review | #Hater by Cambria Hebert

Hater Blog Tour Banner

#Hater (The Hashtag Series #2)
By: Cambria Hebert
Publication Date: January 12, 2015
Genres: New Adult Contemporary, College Romance

*I received a free ARC of #Hater in exchange of an honest review.

Goodreads Link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23561961-hater

Blurb

It started with unspoken animosity. The bitter bite of jealousy. And now its full blown hate.

It was during my first football game that I first felt the first chill of hate. I looked it right in the eyes and felt its sticky tentacles reach out for me. I’d never experienced something so cold and empty before.

The effect of that look lingered, like an unspoken promise, long after it was gone.

Becoming a couple – becoming the other half of a campus celebrity wasn’t easy. I let down walls guarding my heart and he looked past my glasses and accident prone tendencies. Romeo and I are an unlikely match, a #nerd and a jock. But we made it.

And we’re happy.

Zach doesn’t want us to be happy. He wants Romeo to pay for getting him kicked out of Omega and for the night he spent in jail. He’s going to use anything and everything he can to get his revenge. Including me.

As the weather on campus grows cold and the days become dark, revenge becomes the center of someone’s life and the happiness Romeo and I worked so hard for is threatened.

I can’t help but worry that our love is going to be overshadowed by hate.

*~*
Follow this link to see my review of book #1 in The Hashtag Series.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
As expressed in my review of the first book, the characters in #Hater are developed well and there is a bit more depth to them. Rimmel Hudson has grown quite a bit since the first book in the series and it’s nice to see her growing confidence in herself. She’s battling some demons and has some rough things going on, but she’s got a great sense of self that is fun to read. Roman “Romeo” Anderson is still his jock-self and I hate to admit because I know he has a huge following – but I just don’t like him. He’s just not the type of person I enjoy reading because his personality is such a stark contract to what I like in a guy. And then there’s Braeden – he’s pretty great. He’s a fantastic character and I can’t wait to read his spinoff.

Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
The dialogue fit the story well and was very straight forward.  I wish there were more Alpha Buzz alerts. They were really funny in the first book.

Plot – 3.5/5 Stars
The plot was constructed well, though there wasn’t anything unique about it. That’s not a problem, so don’t mistake it for one. The story is a fun read and I found myself laughing throughout it. The pace kept well and it was a fast read for me.

Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
There was enough description to push through the story, but the wordplay was what stands out the most. I enjoyed reading about the various outfits that Rim was dressed in throughout that were a bit further out of character for her. The moments when they were outside of Romeo’s home by the pool were also described well.

Ending 4/5 Stars
The ending for this book was really good. There was enough to keep you wondering what happens next, but it wasn’t one of those crazy cliffhanger endings that makes you angry. I really look forward to seeing what comes in the third book!

Total: 17.5/25 Stars

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Buy links: 

#Hater (Hashtag #2) Buy Links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/oeze38l
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/mhgusab
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/n9scdhx
Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/k5t7d2q
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/n4zwxg9
Kobo:  http://tinyurl.com/kk9u8c3

#Nerd (Hashtag, #1) buy links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/orco23a
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/njn3x8q
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/opfgr6l
Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/ms2kx2s
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/qch9b9z
Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/ou6lgod

Youtube Video for Chapter 1 Read from Cambria:

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzBqwJPk_Ms&feature=youtu.be

Author Bio:

Cambria HebertCambria Hebert is a bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: Text, Torch, Tryst, Masquerade, and Recalled.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

 

Social media Links:

You can find out more about Cambria and her titles by visiting her website: http://www.cambriahebert.com.
Email: cambriahebert@rocketmail.com
Facebook: http://smarturl.co/CambriaHebertFanpage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cambriahebert
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/cambriahebert/pins/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5298677.Cambria_Hebert
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cambria-Hebert/e/B00CYQ2ROK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1420126269&sr=8-1

*~*
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FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 25 – How I Deal With Book Hangovers and Thanks

25 book hangovers

#BookBlogWriMo Day 25 – How I Deal With Book Hangovers

“What is a book hangover?” you ask? Well, it’s not that complicated. Actually, it’s quite similar to an alcohol-book hangoverinduced hangover. They occur when you imbibe in too much great literature. It’s that moment when you shut a book and realize that you don’t have anything left; that world has closed off to you and you’re left at a loss. Your brain stops functioning a bit, you potentially have a bit of a headache, and nothing makes sense. You feel like something has been pulled from you and you’ll never get it back.

These moments are like the plague. I despise them, but I also feel some sense of comfort knowing that I just partook in something incredible and had an experience that I wouldn’t have ever again. I thrive on those book hangovers. Sure, I may crave more, but then I try the following to pull myself out:

1. Think – Jeesh, what a concept! That’s right. I think about what I just read. I let it soak in. It makes me feel a little loopy, and perhaps gives me a bit of a headache, but I sit and think about it. Let it stew. What did I just read? What did it make me feel? Why do I think it made me feel that way?

2. Feel That Loss – Acceptance is important here. I take that emotional trauma and the despair of closing that book, and feel it. Embracing what you feel helps to make those next steps easier.

3. Seek Out the Author – This sort of happens at the same time as feeling the loss. When I finish a book that I really enjoy, I tend to seek out the author to find out what’s next. If it’s a series, I like to know when to expect the next book release. I go forth to ‘like’ the author’s page on Facebook and other sites and learn more about their other potential books.

4. Let Go and Move On – Now comes the moving on bit. Once I have that piece of closure in knowing more books follow or that there are other fish in the library of the sea, I am able to move on. I place that book on my shelf and move to the next indulgence, starting that process all over again. Will I ever learn? I hope not.

book hangover necklage

 

30 Days of Thanks – Day 25

I am thankful for snow boots and rain boots, and other protective weather gear!

 

#BookBlogWriMo Day 21 – My First Reviews and Thanks

21 my first reviews

#BookBlogWriMo Day 21 – #FlashbackFriday – My First Reviews

To say they were rough was an understatement. I posted my first review for The Devil Wears Prada and was really proud of it. Actually, I thought I nailed it on the first try. Thank goodness for awesome commentors, though, because I learned I didn’t give enough detail and reasoning. Sure, I can tell you how I felt about something, but the why and examples are also very important. One thing I need to remind myself frequently is that I don’t need to put so much pressure on myself to write a review. If I don’t have much to say, they I shouldn’t force it; I say my piece and then I’m done. If I have a lot to say, then readers beware! Some of my reviews can end up quite lengthy.

My next reviews definitely improved: Complete by Lindy Zart and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 21

I am thankful for clear, star-filled skies and full moons.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 13 – My Review Process and Thanks

review process and thanks 13

#BookBlogWriMo Day 13 – My Review Process

Going into this whole book reviewing thing, I knew I needed to come up with some sort of process, but I didn’t know where to start. Instead of creating some step-by-step, I just let it flow. That’s important. Don’t let someone else tell you how to do it, just feel it out and do what comes naturally. This is my process… Continue reading

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – My Top Ten Posts and Thanks

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – #TopTuesday – My Most Popular Posts of All Time

I have actually never used this feature on my blog before, so it was really interesting to see what posts have accumulated a following and what ones aren’t as popular. Here are my top ten posts so far. My blog has only recently begun gaining more traffic as I’ve been posting more, but I’m excited to see what has been doing well.

#10 C: The Four C’s to a Great Book and a Successful Review From Me – 4/4/2014 – 22 views – This is actually one of my favorite posts on this blog. It pretty much spells it all out – what I review and what it takes to get a good rating from me. I have received some great feedback for this post and it’s a great reference for authors and other bloggers who are looking for ideas on a reviewing system.

#9 Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Inevitable Detour by S.R. Grey – 10/10/2014 – 22 views – Blog tours are always great traffic drivers.

#8 Book Boyfriends and Lady Loves – Updated 2/6/2014 – 23 views – Ah, another one of my favorite posts on this blog. I haven’t updated this in a while, so I’m due for another few lovely fellers and ladies.

#7 #BookBlogWriMo Day 1 – The History of My Blog and Thanks – 11/1/2014 – 26 views – Self explanatory. From just a few days ago!

#6 Book Review: From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller – 7/9/2014 – 29 views – For those who don’t know, I am Michele’s editor. This is awesome. Beyond awesome, really. I met Michele through my blogging, joined her street team, then the rest is history. I started editing for her on the third book in this series – All That Remains. This series is awesome and Michele is a phenomenal author.

#5 A Little Bit About Me and My Love For Books – 3/7/2014 – 32 views – This post has a whole lot of information about me in interview-ish form. Worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more.

#4 Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – 2/27/2014 – 37 views – My first ever book review! Not really a huge fan of the book, though. Ha!

#3 My First Rafflecopter Giveaway – 10/24/2014 – 50 views – Another milestone! Hoping to do a huge giveaway in January when my blog hits one year!

#2 Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – #Nerd by Cambria Hebert – 11/3/2014 – 51 views – Part of a blog tour, #Nerd was a fun read and I’m excited that the next book will be coming out soon. 🙂 If there’s a tour for that one, I will definitely be participating.

#1 Blog Tour – Review – Unlit Star by Lindy Zart – 10/10/2014 – 95 views! – This is one of the most incredible books I have read. When I go into the search stats for my blog (aka, how people found my blog and posts) many of them have been searches for “Unlit Star” and the various characters and plot points within. I’m always on board for Lindy Zart’s book tours, as she’s one of my favorite authors.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 11

I am thankful for all of those military men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line each day.