Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: One of the Guys

One of the Guys
by Lisa Aldin

The Goodreads Summary Says:
Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She'll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she's sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.

Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.

But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends--the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she's built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.

I Say:
3 stars
A cute debut from Lisa Aldin. I'll be looking for her books in the future.

This is a cute, fun story. Toni is a tomboy who's done everything with her three best guy friends since they were little. But the summer before senior year she feels like they're growing apart. After a prank goes wrong, her parents send her to an all girls' school and her relationship with the guys hits a new low. Toni feels lost until she comes up with a way to combine her new school and her old friends: Rent-a-Gent (loved that name), a service where the girls from her school can rent one of her guy friends for various occasions. The guys make a little extra money, the girls get the perfect poster boy, and Toni gets to hold on to a part of her life she's not willing to let go of yet. At least, that's the plan. There are fun twists and all the hijinks and problems you'd expect with that kind of set up.

I enjoyed the whole idea of Toni's date rental service. There are funny, awkward moments and the book is written in a very readable style. If I had any complaints it would be that the characters and their relationships weren't as developed as I wanted. The girls at Toni's school especially don't stray very far from stereotypes. Even some of the guy BFFs were a little flat for me. They seemed like very different types of people and a little old to be honestly out hunting lake monsters. I would have liked to see more of Toni and the guys during their good times to give the relationship more depth. But otherwise One of the Guys is a quick, light read with a sweet ending that did just what I hoped.

Just So You Know:
I received a free review copy from Spencer Hill via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. One of the Guys will be available Tuesday, February 10th.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

North and South Readalong Discussion Post #2

Today Kami has some great discussion questions for the second section of North and South.

I've got to say, people act a little rash here, and violent! and die! And still ignore Margaret's feelings. Even Mr. Thornton thinks he knows Margaret's feelings but is totally wrong. And get it together, Mr. Thornton. That was her brother.

Also, is there a gif anywhere of Mrs. Thornton making a face that says "I do not approve" ? Because I need that in my reading life.

Anywho, on to the questions!

1.    Have your feelings changed towards Mr. Thornton during this section of the book?
Not really? I thought his proposal was really impulsive and jumping the gun there. He seems like a very calculated, think-it-through type of guy so I was surprised he didn't take a little more time to see if his assumption about her feelings was right. 

He's really good to her family, but he's been pretty considerate of them from the beginning.

2.    Have your feelings towards Margaret changed?
I think I'm more sympathetic toward her. She's in a hard spot in her family - essentially she gets stuck trying to take care of everyone else and no one gives much thought to her feelings. And then she lost her friend and her mom fairly close together. I'd imagine she's pretty lonely.

3.    What do you think about the riot and how Margaret and Mr. Thornton reacted?
She totally goaded him to go down there! I think it showed that she didn't know much about that type of situation and didn't assume that it could turn violent. On the other hand it didn't seem like Mr. Thornton even tried to reason with the people or explain himself. They were kind of opposite ends of the spectrum there.

4.    Do you think Boucher's anger and actions were justified?
Actions? No. Anger, possibly. If you think people are holding out on giving you something you think you deserve, I could understand being upset about it.

5.    Did Bess's or Mrs. Hale's deaths affect you in any way?
They were sad. I felt a little cheated that Bess died off the page, and mostly alone. It was sad when Mrs. Hale died but at least all her family was there for it. 

6.    Were you surprised to learn that it wasn't common for women to attend funerals? What are your feelings on that tidbit?
I thought that was so bizarre. But I guess back then they probably didn't preserve bodies in quite the same way that we do today for funerals. Funerals are probably much more sanitized now than they were back then, so maybe they thought it wasn't the kind of thing delicate, fainting-prone ladies could handle. 

7.    Now that we've met Frederick, do you like him? Are you sympathetic to his predicament?
I don't like or dislike him. He has this whole other life in Spain and seems pretty distanced from his family and their day to day problems. It sounds like he has his own problems with the whole mutiny, but I'm still not convinced he's 100% innocent there. And I think involving Henry Lennox could lead to trouble, but maybe that's just me.

8.    What are your feelings on Mr. Thornton's proposal?
Besides that it was impulsive? I thought it was interesting that he didn't talk to her parents first. (Although I don't remember Henry Lennox doing that either). I thought talking to the parents first was a big deal back then, at least if Jane Austen movies are to be believed.

9.    If you were in Mr. Thornton's place, having seen the person you love with a stranger late at night, then finding out that person was questioned by the police and lied, would you do the same thing Mr. Thornton did? Would you protect that person even though you think they have done questionable things?
I don't know. I think Mr. Thornton thought he was doing the best thing for her. I don't really get what all the social consequences would be for her, but it reminded me of wacky sitcoms where big lies and misunderstandings come about because people don't give one crucial piece of information. I wonder if Mr. Thornton would have done anything differently if he'd known Margaret was out with her mutinous brother.

10.  Do you think Margaret's feelings towards Mr. Thornton have changed? Why?
Yeah, I do, especially at the part where her brother describes him much like she did earlier in the book and Margaret doesn't feel like that's quite right any more. I think she respects him more and is getting past the whole idea that he's beneath her just because he's a merchant. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: 2014 Books I Missed

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Link up here.
Today's topic is 2014 book releases I didn't get a chance to read. And since I had a baby last year that was basically all of them...

Books I have checked out from the library right now:
Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

My True Love Gave to Me by lots of people

Checked out from the library and didn't read:

Love Letters to the Dead

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

On the hold list at the library:

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

On the Fence by Kasie West

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

What's that? It's mostly contemporary romance? You know me so well, blog.

Which books should I get to ASAP? What did you miss out on last year?