Negative Reviews

I’m not good at negative reviews. Maybe because I’m sensitive? I’m all for constructive criticism and I know that’s a major player in negative reviews, sometimes. Sometimes, you find people who are seemingly unhappy with their lives and only want to spread negativity. That’s the only thing I can think of. Sure, there are times when you can seriously dislike something or have a real bad experience and want to share it with everyone, but other times I think some people are just being mean. In the banking industry, we realize that when someone gets good service, they tell maybe one person, but if they get bad service they tell at least 10. This is true for pretty much all industries, I know. The problem I have with giving negative reviews is that I really truly see the good in everything. That’s not to say that every review I have given is good, but let’s see in book reviews, I generally research the books I read before I read them. There are authors that I know I would love to read their grocery lists. So I know that when one of their books comes out, I’ll probably devour it. Or if they recommend certain books in their genre, I will probably love them, too. Anyways, the point to this post (which could honestly be reviewed very negatively due to all of my run-on thoughts), is that I’m not really sure how to give a negative review of a book. Especially if it’s book I truly did enjoy. Generally I’d give it 4 stars and move on. I’ve given 3 stars here and there. It just seems to me, if the book was really good, I should give it so many stars and not mention the small things that bothered me like the fact that the story wrapped up rather quickly at the end (it has to end somewhere right?) or that it was pretty easy to predict. A good book is a good book, right? I have so much to learn in all of this, I’m just trying to cypher my way through. 🙂

Goodnight!

xoxo

Ashley

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Thursday Book Review! Mackenzie Fire by Elle Casey

This is the second book in the Shine Not Burn series. If you haven’t read the first one, see my review for it here and come back later! 😉

This is Ian and Candice’s story. Ian is Mack’s younger brother who was set to be married in the first book. His wedding was called off shortly after their eventful trip to Vegas. He’s been carrying around a bitterness about it for the last 3 years. Candice is Andie’s bubbly best friend from Florida. She’s in town to visit and is eager to put Ian in his place for being such a jerk to Andie. Little did she know that this trip to Oregon would send her literally falling on her butt.
Candice and Ian have an amazing chemistry. They try to fight their attraction to each other from the very start in a series of hilarious and unfortunate events. Both will end up wounded and both will fall hard, but there’s no way it will work from Oregon to Florida so Candice is just determined to turn Ian’s life upside down enough so he’ll pull his head out of his butt. Ian is looking for a way out and he just might find it.
Elle Casey has a wonderful way with words. I was hooked from the start on Shine Not Burn and had no doubts that this book would be equally hilarious and wonderful.
My only complaint is that it sort of felt rushed towards the end. Otherwise it was an amazing book. 🙂

4.5 Stars! 🙂

xoxo
Ashley

Book Reviews- Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey

Here I go! It’s better late than never, right? I write this sort of to no one, although I have a few followers, I’m not sure why you guys are following me yet. I’m hoping to gain your real attention one day. But until then, I’m going to wander aimlessly through the blogging world trying to figure it all out. 🙂

Shine Not Burn was released last July, I believe. That’s when I read it anyways. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this gem but I am certain glad I did! This is the story of big city Andie, careful lawyer from Florida with a very simple, very structured life plan. She wants to make partner by 30, married with 2.5 kids by 35. Sounds great, right? She just needs to make it through her best friend, Kelly’s bachelorette weekend in Vegas and focus her eyes on the prize. Enter Mack, Gavin Mackenzie. Sexy Cowboy from Oregon. He’s also been drug to Vegas for a bachelor weekend for his brother when Andie all but literally runs into him.

“My brain barely registered what they were saying. I only had eyes for the god sitting on the stool just twenty feet away from me. Jeans, dress shirt, cowboy hat, five o’clock shadow beard, muscles visible just below his rolled up cuffs, bronzed like he spent most of the day outside. “Be still my heart,” I said, talking to no one.

I was nearly to his spot at the table when the toe of my borrowed heel caught something on the carpet and sent me flying forward. I watched in horror as my hand went out to help find my balance, sending the contents of my glass out in a stream right at the man who’d stepped out of my lustiest of dreams.”

And so begins what should quite possibly be the best day of her life. Andie and Mack hit it off and spend a wonderful evening together that she doesn’t quite remember the next morning. Two years later, Andie’s days away from getting married to a cookie cutter man that fits her life plan when she’s notified by the county clerk’s office that she’s still legally married to a man out in Oregon. What else is she to do? She boards a flight in an effort to fix this little hiccup before he future husband catches wind of it. Little did she know what she would find in Oregon.

I laughed until I cried THROUGHOUT this book! It was just SO good. It’s a definite must read.

Then grab Mackenzie Fire. I’m going to review that next. 🙂

I Fail.

Don’t we all??

I have REALLY good intentions for this blog. For a lot of things. But I fail. I make plans and I don’t follow through. At least not the way I’d like sometimes. There are 100 excuses and things I can blame, but at the end of the day I need to own up and make a better plan for next time, right? I’m like the chronic dieter that falls off the wagon over and over again but one day, I’ll finally realize this is what I want and what I need to do, and I’ll get it done. Right? That’s how I see it anyways. Anyhow, one of my main goals in starting this blog was to have a place to practice writing, to get my thoughts out, and to start blogging my book reviews. I’ve done a little rambling and I think maybe 1 or 2 book reviews?? I have also promised more book reviews for each Thursday and I haven’t delivered. SO- I plan to review the two books I discussed reviewing a few weeks ago TOMORROW. On TUESDAY. Then Thursday I want to review The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan that I just finally jumped on the bandwagon and read, because they’re on sale through June!! SO Get them. $1.99 a piece. Then let me know what you think, or if you were able to sleep. Because I couldn’t. I had to know what was going to happen! Which sort of made me glad that I waited until they were all out. Anyhow, I apologize for my inconsistencies, and I’m not going to promise that I’ll get better right away, but I’m definitely working on it! I have a lot to learn. So tomorrow- Shine Not Burn and Mackenzie Fire by Elle Casey! Super hilarious reads. I’ll tell you my thoughts then!

 

xoxo

 

Ashley

Things I do that drive me crazy about other people.

So this morning as I was getting ready for my day, I got to thinking about things that people do that annoy me. (My husband left the light on in the garage and I was irritated at him.) This got me to thinking about things that I do, that I get mad at other people for. (What? Not me!)

I often stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open and stare. “HURRY UP! You’re wasting electricity!” Or I will open the fridge to get some ingredients out and leave it open while still getting more stuff out, or even until I’m done with said ingredients and ready to put them away. Now, if anyone else comes to my house and does this, or does this in front of me somewhere else, I’m immediately annoyed. (Don’t they know they’re letting the cold air out? Wasting electricity? You can open it back up if you want something else!) But alas I am very guilty of this very annoying trait.

I also have this problem with being quite the motor mouth. I know what you’re thinking, “you?? Really?” Yep. I’m guilty as charged. I sometimes really don’t know when to stop. But yet I find myself on the opposite end of a person JUST LIKE ME, and I’m thinking, “man, she really needs to learn when to stop.”

I’m overly apologetic. Running over a pothole- “oh! I’m so sorry!” Can’t help someone at work because they’re WAY not qualified (I know that’s not correct grammar), “I am really sorry Mr. SoandSo. I wish we could help you.” Handed the waitress one of the menus upside-down, “SORRY!” And on the other hand I’ll be the one telling my friend when she apologizes that our fitness class was cancelled, “for the love of God, don’t apologize! You didn’t know!” Some (most) circumstances just don’t need apologies. Just like “No.” Is a complete sentence, no need to apologize or explain!

Spending unnecessary money. I work at a bank so I can look at my account throughout the day. My husband has this terrible habit of buying snacks and drinks at the gas station with his debit card for under $2. It drives me CRAZY! Yet on a second look at my account, I have a steady stream of books coming off my debit card for odd amounts, $.99, $1.99, $2.99; who’s spending frivolous money now??

The biggest pet peeve of my own is letting people walk all over me, then complaining about it. WHY DO I/WE DO THIS!?? I don’t know the answer, but I wish I did! Perhaps one day we’ll get tired of being a welcome mat for people to dry their muddy shoes on and stand up and stop taking it.

I said all this to acknowledge that I, too, make mistakes. Nothing new here. Sometimes I just need to remind myself.

Until next time!

I got a little off this week, I’ll be reviewing Elle Casey’s Shine Not Burn tomorrow! Come back and check it out! 🙂

xoxo

Ashley

Book Review- That Boy by Jillian Dodd

This book begins in the present day where Jadyn is on a romantic first date with one of her best friends and he proposes. Actually, it’s a full blown engagement party that he’s thrown. As she walks up to the stage to tell everyone that there is no way she’s going to marry that boy. She begins remembering what led them here to begin with.

Jadyn & Phillip have been friends since birth. They had a beautiful and easy friendship until Danny showed up in 5th grade.

I run outside and walk right up to those stupid boys. I ignore Danny and say to Phillip, “I want to play football with you guys, okay?”

Phillip shrugs his shoulders. Danny steps between us and says to Phillip, “No way .She’ll just end up getting hurt and go bawling home.” “Girls aren’t tough enough to play football.”

I look that Devil Boy in the eye.

Dad told me to teach him a lesson by playing football, but I can see now what I have to do. I cock my arm back and punch that boy right in the stomach. Then I move closer and give him a jab in the face. He falls onto his butt in the grass.

The corner of his lip is bleeding and he’s looking at me with a shocked expression.

“You know what? You just might be tough enough to play football.”

Thus begins the beautiful friendship between the three of them. One boy will give her her first kiss, one will teach her to make out. One boy will be flirty and sexy, the other will talk her to sleep at night. Both boys will love her. Both boys will help her through the toughest times of her life. Only one boy will be the love of her life. Which will it be??

This story was so wonderful! it’s written like a journal…I felt like I was in Jadyn’s head throughout the story. I remembered my feelings falling in love and getting mad at stupid boys and just the feelings I felt throughout high school and what not. This book will bring out the ugly tears, the giggles, the feels.

5 beautiful stars!

Let’s talk about underdogs.

An underdog is someone, usually in a competition, who isn’t expected to win. Right? Underdogs are all around us. I consider myself an underdog often. I feel like I work extra hard to accomplish the things I want because there isn’t anything just extraordinary about me at this time, I’m not the most beautiful or the smartest. People don’t just love me from the start and give me what I want. We’re probably all underdogs at some point in our lives. I say all of this because I had a pretty disturbing conversation about an underdog with someone who I honestly have always admired for the way that he seems unbiased and fair in decisions. He is choosing not to give the underdog a chance and I just feel like it has to do with the fact that she’s not the prettiest or best in social situations and I think this isn’t fair. This makes me want to pull for her that much more and honestly makes me appreciate him less for being oblivious to her big heart and hard work.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

So if you’re an underdog, know that I’m pulling for you! and everyone who isn’t will eventually see that you shine brighter than the rest because you have known struggles!

That’s my rant for the day.

Look for my book review of That Boy by Jillian Dodd on Thursday!

xoxo

Ashley