Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"It was dumb to move away for a fresh start if you didn't actually give yourself one."

Brooke Berlin seems to have it all--an LA mansion, amazing clothes and shoes, friends who worship her, and enemies who cower at her feet. However, she is unable to attain the one thing she really wants: attention from her superstar father Brick Berlin.

Molly Dix lives a quiet life in Indiana until her mother passes away. Her mother Laurel's dying wish is to have Molly live with her long-lost father, Brick Berlin. She is suddenly thrust into the spotlight--and she becomes Brooke's sister--or as Brooke sees it: her main competition.

In order to force Brooke and Molly to get along after Molly's disastrous introduction to Hollywood, Brick forces the girls to share a room and work on a play together. At the same time, they are torn apart by gossip and Brooke's arch-nemesis, Shelby Kendall.

Molly remembers great advice from Laurel throughout the book which helps her cope with her new circumstances. Whenever Molly thought about something her mom would have told her it reminded me of the stories I have heard about moms who are terminally ill, but take time to leave behind letters and videos to get their children through milestone events.

Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan is fun, but not as fluffy as the cover might suggest--there's a lot of work on relationships, friendships, and parenting going on throughout the book. Cocks and Morgan left the door open with several loose ends. The big question becomes: will there be a sequel? I'm sure readers will want to know more about Brooke and her mother, how Brick and Brooke repair their relationship with Molly, and a budding romance. Tell us more!

Spoiled, published by Little, Brown/Poppy, will be available in June 1, 2011. ARC from publisher.

PS: My favorite part? Molly and her boyfriend from Indiana have a ritual of telling each other how much they love one another:

"Just remember, I love you like Homer Simpson loves beer." "Like a mean kid loves dodgeball." "Like a dog loves a fire hydrant."

Reading this cracked me up. Can you think of some more awesome and endearing ways to love someone?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Without forgiveness, we'd all be walking this Earth angry and alone, and I think that would suck."

Confession: I love collaborative books. I'd like to think that if I
write a book, it would be in alternating chapters with another author because the dynamic makes me so happy as a reader. Notes From The Blender by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin is no exception.

Declan and Neilly are only children of single parents. Declan's mom died when he was young and Neilly's parents are divorced. Both teens are comfortable and as happy as an angsty teens can be--until their parents turn their lives upside down with the announcement that they are getting married AND having a baby. They are about to become part of a blended family.

Both shocked and mortified, Declan (who has a crush on Neilly) has to face the fact that his father is moving on from mourning his mother. Neilly, whose thick skin has already weathered the revelation that her father is gay, can't believe that her mother is pregnant.

Notes From The Blender is hilarious and irreverent--a great combination. I giggled out loud while Declan suffered the reality of Neilly becoming more of a sister than a love interest. However, I also loved the serious parts where both Declan and Neilly came to terms with some of the big issues that had previously held them back.

Notes From The Blender is available at your local bookstore or library today. Happy Book Birthday, Trish and Brendan!