Sunday, August 31, 2014

Short and Tweet Reviews: Landline, Believe, Fault Lines, I'll Become the Sea, Hurricane Lily

Two of my favorite blogers, Karen at For What It's Worth and Mary at The Book Swarm occasionally post twitter-style reviews. Karen calls hers Short and Tweet. Mary also pointed the direction to The Daring Librarian's "Twitter Style Book Review Lesson" Basically, the idea is a review that's tweet length, only 140 characters. I annoy myself by my wordiness, in real life and in blogging, so I've been wanting to give this a try.
It's fun to write such a short, super concise review, but it's also really hard! You need to get the essential details in there so readers have enough to go on. I may not get every review down to tweet length, sometimes it might be twitlonger. But we'll see how this goes!

Series: Standalone
LandlineGenre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 7/8/14
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 310
Source: Purchase
Rating: 5 stars

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Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Short and Tweet, the Twitlonger Version...

Marriage-in-crisis. A line to the past and a chance to make things right. Or not. So many feelings! Rainbow Rowell has done it again, quickly becoming a favorite author. Landline was quirky, interesting, bittersweet, heart-pounding, and romantic. And hilarious! It's a love story to Georgie and Neal's own love story and I highly recommend it!

Favorite Quotes
  Even on good days, Georgie knew Neal was unhappy. And that it was her fault. It was that she'd tied him to her so tight. Because she wanted him. Because he was perfect for Georgie, even if she wasn't perfect for him. Because she wanted him more than she wanted him to be happy. If she loved Neal, if she really loved him... Shouldn't she want more for him than with me, always with me?

  You don't know when you're twenty-three. You don't know what it really means to crawl into someone else's life and stay there. You can't see all the ways you're going to get tangled, how you're going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten--in fifteen...
  She didn't know at twenty-three.

  How could she doubt that he loved her? Neal was saying goodbye to her with that look. He was begging her to stay. He was telling her that she was doing just fine--just keep breathing, Georgie. How could she ever doubt that he loved her? When loving her was what he did better than all the things he did beautifully.

  The future was going to happen, even if he wasn't ready for it. Even if he was never ready for it. At least he could make sure he was with the right person. Wasn't that the point of life? To find someone to share it with? And if you got that part right, how far wrong could you go? If you were standing next to the person you loved more than everything else, wasn't everything else just scenery?


Believe (True Believers, #3)
Series: True Believers #3

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Intermix

Publication Date: 7/14

Format: ebook
Pages: 232
Source: Purchase
Rating: 4 stars

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Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden
sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

 But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a naïve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

Short and Tweet...
Two extremely bent-but-not-broken characters find love and redemption in one another. I found the pacing to be a bit rushed, as was the relationship between Robin and Phoenix, lacking a special spark that I've come to expect in this series. But...I still enjoyed it so much. In Believe we see the best kind of love, that which empowers and embraces.

Side note: Unlike a lot of readers, I never saw Robin as the girl who cheated with her best friend's boyfriend, but as the girl who got herself in a bad situation -yes, through her own fault- but I believe wasn't a truly active participant in the sex. When you're black-out drunk and a guy has sex with you,
that's a serious lack of true consent, and possibly even rape. And again, I get that Robin shouldn't have gotten so drunk, but I've known a lot of people who were that drunk before, I've been that drunk before. And while it may be considered "too stupid to live", here we are.

Fault Lines

                                                                                                               Series: Standalone

Series: Standalone
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Carina Press

Publication Date: 9/24/12

Format: ebook
Pages: 126
Source: Purchase
Rating: 4.5 stars

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Sarah Murphy plans other people's weddings. She's 
gorgeous and successful, but she also carries a dark secret.

At one of her events, she meets Joe Sullivan, a sexy photographer with a difficult past of his own. When
he snaps a rare unguarded photograph of her and captures the real person hiding behind the facade, she feels exposed. To restore the upper hand, she tries to do what she always does: use sex to defuse the situation.

While Joe is eager to deepen his relationship with Sarah, he's aware of her emotional shield and the way she disconnects from her body. Seeing her at her most vulnerable doesn't scare him off, but he needs to know what she's hiding.

Sarah has a tough decision to make. Does she want to go on living a lonely, emotionally frozen life? Or can she finally risk revealing the truth and move forward with Joe?

Short and Tweet....

Don't let the cover fool you, Fault Lines is not a romance. This is Sarah's story, of abuse, survival, being consumed in shame and "what ifs", and ultimately moving forward. It was powerful and beautiful, and RRM handles the subject matter with refreshing honesty, care, and insight. It's also a very sexy story. Joe and Sarah make a brief appearance in Tanya, so fans of The Bridge and Fault Lines should check that one out. I've said it before...very few writers can craft the perfect novella like Rebecca Rogers Maher.

Favorite Quotes

  She waited for an answer, but it didn't come. Under his penetrating gaze, her bravado began to crumble. 
  And that's when he kissed her. At that moment if collapse, of caving in self-doubt, he kissed her. He slid his hand into her hair. He cradled the side of her face and throat in his warm hand. He pressed his mouth against her bottom lip, breathing in, as though absorbing her, taking her into himself.   

  "Will you give me your hand?"
  "What?" She turned to face him. "Give you my...why?"
  "Because what you just did was one of the bravest things I've ever seen anyone do, and I'd like to hold your hand now."

  Soon, Sarah would have to face the decisions that awaited her. There'd be no one to help her then. It was her road, and she would have to walk it on her own. In Joe's arms, though, for just that moment, she didn't have to be alone. "A little while longer."
  "That's right." Joe gathered her against him. "Just a little while."
  She turned toward his heat. She let him wrap his body around her like a living shield. And she slept.

I'll Become the Sea

                                                                                                                                                                                      Series: Standalone
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: 8/1/10

Format: ebook
Pages: 168
Source: Purchase
Rating: 4 stars

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Jane Elliott has found peace. By all accounts, she's a success story: a survivor of childhood abuse who has dedicated her life to teaching. She's also engaged to marry Ben, an ambitious documentary filmmaker.

But hers is a false and fragile peace. Focusing on her students at an urban Jersey Shore school and maintaining a relationship with an absentee fiancé conveniently keep Jane from feeling much of anything at all.

This safe existence is threatened when she meets David, a musician who runs an afterschool program for at-risk kids. Because of her commitment to Ben, Jane can deny her attraction to David and convince herself they are just good friends.

But an accident, a death, a grim family obligation and her own intense desire force Jane to overcome the past, rethink the present—and take a genuine risk on love.

My Short and Tweet...

Loosely connected to Fault Lines, I'll Become the Sea was a powerful debut from Rebecca Rogers-Maher. True to what I've come to expect and love, this is Jane's story, a story of long-held pain, personal revelations, and healing. Oh, and love. David was a remarkable partner for Jane, and helped her realize she was worthy of love, a full life. I really enjoyed this, and am happy that I finally gave it a try.

Favorite Quotes

  "...I'm a...I'm a..."
  I stand up and walk down the steps. "I don't know. A...bottomless pit. A sinkhole. Quicksand."
  "You won't be able to handle it. You won't want to."
  He sits on the steps, his eyes level with mine. "You've been the center of my life for four months now. Do I look like I'm struggling?"
  I start to cry. "But you will. Everyone does. Everyone."
  "You had the wrong people in your life."
  I shake my head.
  "You think there's something unmanageable about you, and there isn't." He rises and comes down the steps. His voice is thick, but he is quiet, calm. "You think I'm going to get overwhelmed and leave you, but I won't."

Hurricane LilySeries: Standalone
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Promised Land Books
Publication Date: 4/15/13
Format: ebook
Pages: 120
Source: Purchase
Rating: 3.5 stars

GoodReads  Amazon  BN

Lily Sawyer flees her controlling, wealthy family in New York City for a solitary existence on Cape Cod. Three months later, a mounting anxiety binds her to the house she can no longer leave.

With hurricane season approaching, Lily hires Cliff Buckley—an angry carpenter with an immediate disgust for his elitist employer—to storm-proof her house.

Cliff soon discovers they have more in common than he thinks, as well as a raging spark between them could either destroy—or save—everything they care about. The question is, can either of them survive Hurricane Lily?

My Short and Tweet...

With its intense and emotionally troubled characters, Hurricane Lily was a dark read. Lily refuses to leave her home, is wracked with paranoia and anxiety. Cliff is consumed by thoughts of injustice and anger. A job brings them together, but they'll only stay that way by breaking down each other's walls. This is not my favorite RRM read, but still very interesting. It was intense and sad, but gives us two characters who can be better together, and hope.

(I would also like to point out that Hurricane Lily is loosely connected to The Bridge and Tanya, as Cliff is Henry and Jack's long-left half-brother.)

Favorite Quotes

  She wanted to hide behind a curtain and observe him. Without the stress of his gaze, she could stare as much as she wanted. Drink him in. The contours of his face and hands, the strange intelligence in his eyes--she could look to her heart's content and then sculpt him. Her fingers tingled with the desire to touch his body, to learn its shape. And then to get down on the floor and shape it again, in clay.

  She should have looked away, or thrown something at him, or run, but she couldn't make herself do it. His body was completely still, and his eyes burned into hers. He looked to her like a starving man, like a feral creature.

  He'd seen everything.
  And slowly, his gaze traveled down the length of her body. At her hands fisted on her belly, her fallen-open legs, her bare feet. The force of his eyes made her tremble in a way she couldn't control. She watched him take that tremor in. And then he came toward her.

For the love of all that was holy, she was about to be fucked by the handyman.

Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Website Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Tumblr  |  GoodReads 

Erin McCarthyUSA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

Rebecca Rogers MaherRebecca Rogers Maher writes bold contemporary romance novels with strong, flawed heroines. She’s a Vassar graduate, a former community organizer and Brooklyn public school teacher, and a mother to two insanely sweet boys. She believes messed-up ladies deserve happy endings too, as well as lots of hot sex with genuinely kind men. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her hot, kind husband and their children.

RT Book Reviews describes Rebecca’s writing as “beautiful, heart-wrenching, and heart-warming,” Library Journal calls it “dark, electrically charged…gut-
wrenching…” and Dear Author says it “resonate(s) with depth.” In a ridiculously embarrassing article, New York Daily News called her novels “steamy.”

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. I have found my Short & Tweet soul mate! We just can't do it - can we?? lol

    I want to read I'll Become the Sea. It's the only RRM book I haven't read. HL fell a little flat for me even though I did like it and I LOVED Fault Lines. I agree - it should have a different cover so readers aren't surprised by the story. It's romantic in a way but not.

    I didn't love Landline. It was just ok for me.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  2. YAY for the fab tweet-short reviews!! They really are difficult to write but I get so much satisfaction when I hit that 140 or less character count (it does not always happen but I'm competitive with myself). I really wouldn't have guessed that Fault Lines wasn't a love story. Definitely a misleading cover. I wasn't as big a fan as you with Landline but I did appreciate the love story of the love story.

  3. The dark and troubled characters of Hurricane sounds like something I could enjoy.

  4. I love your short and tweet reviews. I agree that Robin wasn't an active participant and still think Nate should have been punished somehow.

    I can't wait to read Fault Lines. I love me some RRM. Great reviews!

  5. I love this idea and I've wanted to try it since seeing Mary do it. I think I'd have to do it your way, though, because I doubt I could restrict myself to a 140 characters! I'm going to try this out soon.

    I totally agree with you about Believe. I never felt Robin should've been regarded as a cheater when she was dead to the world drunk. I do agree what Nate did could've been considered rape, and he really got off way too easy! I've been that drunk as well, not something I'd like to repeat, but an honest mistake. I felt that's what happened to Robin. It creeps up on you before you even realize you're at that point.

    I was really excited about Landline, I even bought an audio copy, but then I read a few reviews that discouraged me. I do like reading about a marriage in crisis that gets back on track. I have a feeling I'd have issues with Georgie and I'm worried I'd hate her character. She seems really selfish.

    I haven't heard of this other series, but I'll have to check it out! Great reviews, Andrea, and I hope you've had a fun holiday weekend! :)

  6. These all sound good. I've only read Believe, but I really love that series. Great short and tweet reviews :)

  7. I'm skeptical about Landline, the sci-fisish aspect is weird mixed with a contemporary. I have the audio of it though. I still need to start the Erin McCarthy books.

  8. The 1st three books ... yes! I want to read them so bad, so I'm gald you liked them so much. The last two, I'm not familiar with, but they sound good too.

  9. Oh this was a lot of fun. Such a great way to review. I've been wanting to read Landline and Believe sounds really good too. Also I agree with you 100% on the black out drunk thing!

  10. I love these reviews! And I'm so glad you loved Landline too. One of my favorite books ever.

  11. Great reviews, Andrea. I'm really digging this format! I don't know that I could do it! LOL I'm definitely going to be reading Rainbow Rowell soon.

  12. I love your short and tweet reviews. :) I enjoyed Landline, but the paranormal stuff kind of bugged me, especially in a contemporary. I still need to read the McCarthy series. Glad you enjoyed these! :)


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