Phone Kitten Review and Man Crush Monday

Phone Kitten Review and Man Crush Monday

Book Title: Phone Kitten

Author: Marika Christian

Pages: 253

Genre: Chick Lit, Cozy Mystery

This is definitely the first book I’ve read about something in the “phone kitten” industry. It ended up being really good! Main character Emily is lacking self-confidence, which is why she lets her co-worker friend, Dani, look over her article before she brings it to her boss for possible publishing. She then finds out that Dani has already passed the article off as her own and Emily ends up being fired. This is how Emily ends up in the phone kitten business. Emily’s tales of her new job were more humorous than erotic. She never pictured herself in such a position, but can’t deny that she’s good at it. All the trouble starts when Emily ends up at the same place as one of her clients. He figures out who she is, threatens her to do everything he wants or he’ll blackmail her employer, and then ends up dead the next day. Emily wants to know what happened to him, but also sees this as her opportunity to write a big story that will land her back in the world of journalism. She turns into an amateur sleuth and starts investigating his death.

Emily was a very likeable character. She recently lost 30 pounds, but can’t shake off the feeling of being a “chub” as she calls herself. I could relate to her lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. Emily also had a very good heart. She had a lot of compassion for those around her, whether they were lonely guys calling her hotline or possible murder suspects. Her friend Dennis was confusing and I don’t know whether or not I like him. They just seemed like an odd couple. He’s described as looking like a marine and being a personal trainer. Dennis does tell Emily what she needs to hear, though not always in a tactful, loving way. His partner, Craig, was a great character. He and Emily seemed to “click” more naturally than Dennis and Emily. Craig also gave Emily good advice, but in a more sympathetic manner.

Rick was another great character and today’s Man Crush Monday! Rick is a “history hottie” from Emily’s community college class. I loved that he loved ice cream and took her there on their first date. Gotta love a man who appreciates the importance of good frozen treats! *Possible spoiler: At first, Emily wasn’t honest about her profession. When Rick found out, he was upset that she wasn’t honest, but could accept what she did as long as it didn’t make her feel jaded toward men, thinking that every man was out just to get something from her. He had a lot of insight about the situation! He was understanding of Emily being kissed by another man to get information. He was also very romantic, taking Emily away for a weekend getaway near the end of the story.* End spoiler

The mystery in the story was just so-so. It’s one of those cozy mysteries, where a complicated and well-thought-out who dunnit isn’t as important as the fun the main character has along the way. Emily did get to meet a lot of varied and interesting characters through her sleuthing. Overall, I enjoyed this read because I really liked Emily and was routing for her.

***The buy link above is from Amazon. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Hold Her Down Book Review

Hold Her Down Book Review

Title: Hold Her Down

Author: Kathryn Biel

Pages: 259

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Published by: Self-published March 13, 2014

This book had a great main character! Elizabeth is an overworked and underappreciated mother of two. She is also a special education preschool teacher, which is a very stressful job, but because it doesn’t pay very much, her husband doesn’t appreciate her contributions. Their marriage is falling apart. All they ever do is talk about the kids’ schedules, finances, and chores. One night, Elizabeth finally makes it out of the house. She on her way to hang out with her best friend, Susan, when her car breaks down. Elizabeth feels like she’s at the end of her rope and contemplates staying out in the cold until she dies. Luckily, she thinks of how that would leave her children and gains the strength to walk to the nearest house. The house she finds turns out to belong to an old high school crush, John. She spends the weekend confiding in him and realizes she needs to make some changes. The book forwards two years into the future. Elizabeth’s marriage has turned into a non-romantic partnership, but at least it’s better than it was before. Elizabeth gets invited to a book launch party for an acquaintance’s ex-husband. Long story short, Elizabeth finally finds out that John is the ex-husband and he wrote an erotic novel about her, even though they never did anything. Now everyone in town thinks Elizabeth is a scandalous skank. Elizabeth, who has always been a people pleaser, is devastated. She has to learn to stand on her own two feet and become confident in the face of a difficult situation.

I feel that many women can relate to Elizabeth. Many women and mothers feel the way Elizabeth does. They are trapped and don’t know a way out. I could definitely relate to her. I felt so sorry for the situation she was put in and didn’t know how I would handle it myself. I loved the ending of the book because Elizabeth learned to become more independent and to take care of herself. I also liked how unique the premise of this book was. The cover of the book is the cover of the fictional book, so don’t be put off by it. This is women’s fiction, not romance or erotica. The book kept my interest the whole time and I kept reading to find out what would happen next. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who can relate to Elizabeth’s situation.

***The buy link above is from Amazon. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Throwback Thursday – Judy Blume

My super conservative, religious school did not permit Judy Blume books to be used for book reports. What the even heck?! I guess they’re considered a little “progressive,” but I remember loving these books as a kid! I felt they were very “real life.” Standouts were the Fudge series, Freckle Juice, and of course, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. 


Who else read Judy Bloom books as a youngin’? Were they really that controversial among the conservative set? Maybe my memory’s faulty, but I don’t recall them being too racy…


Image and description obtained from Goodreads
Image and description obtained from Goodreads

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to the suburbs, and she’s anxious to fit in with her new friends. When she’s asked to join a secret club she jumps at the chance. But when the girls start talking about boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret starts to wonder if she’s normal. There are some things about growing up that are hard for her to talk about, even with her friends. Lucky for Margaret, she’s got someone else to confide in… someone who always listens. 


Image and description obtained from Goodreads
Image and description obtained from Goodreads

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Life with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing mashed potatoes on the walls at Hamburger Heaven, or trying to fly, he’s never far from trouble. He’s an almost three-year-old terror who gets away with everything, and Peter’s had it up to here! When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter’s pet turtle, it’s the last straw. Peter has put up with Fudge for too long. Way too long! How can he get his parents to pay attention to him for a change?


Image and description obtained from Goodreads
Image and description obtained from Goodreads

Freckle Juice

Nicky has freckles: they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Sitting behind him in class, Andrew once counted eighty-six of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty.

One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. When know-it-all Sharon overhears, she offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe for fifty cents. It’s a lot of money, but Andrew is desperate. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens…


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YALLWest 2015 Highlights!

As many of you know from our twitter gushing, we just got back from YALLWest 2015! This was the first year for the YA book festival here on the west coast, and it was PHENOMENAL!

Here are the top ten highlights:

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1.) Margaret “Margie” Stohl was declared Mayor of Santa Monica, an official post complete with mayoral sash and hat. The mayor of Santa Monica himself made the declaration.

2.) Elizabeth got to meet Veronica Roth and get her book signed. It only took a two hour wait in line.   yallwest4



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3.) Two super honest panels on struggles with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and OCD.

QOTD 1: “I am a #1 New York Times bestselling train wreck – Margaret Stohl

QOTD 2: “I really, fully believe that no one is truly broken.” – Lauren Oliver

QOTD 3: “There is a huge correlation between ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression and being highly creative.” – Kami Garcia

QOTD 4: “How do I get through the day? You mean besides coffee and lots of social media?” – Richelle Mead

QOTD 5: “Why don’t you talk to yourself the way you would lovingly talk to your friend?” – Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver also suggested drawing a picture of the “inner voice” that tears you down and ripping it up! Two of the authors (Jennifer Nibett and Neil Shusterman) wrote books inspired by those they know with mental illness.


4.) Elizabeth winning non-beer-pong, and receiving an ARC of Illuminae by Annie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff as her prize! This book is a series of “hacked” government documents. I can’t wait to read it!

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5.) Shannon Hale being Shannon Hale.

QOTD 6: “I’ve never been asked about a strong male character.” – Shannon Hale (On “Strong Female Characters, Ugh!!”)

QOTD 7: “We were bullied. We were awkward and awful. And that’s how we as writers get our revenge- in the characters we write.” – Shannon Hale

QOTD 8: “There needs to be a lot of different stories, because there are a lot of different readers.” – Shannon Hale

Shannon Hale in her “Vanna White” dress.


6.) Cupcake hour hosted by Random House! Free cupcakes for the win!

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7.) Lindsey swallowing her fear and asking Lauren Oliver, Stephanie Perkins, Libba Bray, and Kami Garcia for a selfie.

8.) Meeting other book nerds, like our Canadian friends, Risabella Roque and Olivia Gutjahr.(Sadly we did not get a pic! Next time!)


9.) The awesome FREE photo booth on Sunday… with props!
newport beach

10.) Lots of laughter and shenanigans!

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Big Little Lies Review

Big Little Lies Review

Sorry, no Man Crush Monday today. Instead, here’s a book review!

Title: Big Little Lies

Author: Liane Moriarty

Genre: Drama, Fiction

Pages: 460

Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons on July 29, 2014

This book took longer to suck me in than most of her books. I’m not sure why. I guess it was difficult to follow all the different characters at first. By the end of the book, though, I was doing my typical, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe what she just revealed!” like I do with most Moriarty books. 

This story was mainly about three different women who all have children in kindergarten at the same time. Madeleine is remarried with two children and a third from her previous marriage. Unfortunately, her ex-husband and his new wife, Bonnie, live in the same town as her and their younger daughter is in the same class as Madeleine’s younger daughter. Madeleine can feel her older daughter, Abigail, slipping away from her, impressed by Bonnie’s new age lifestyle. 

Celeste and Perry have what appears to be a perfect marriage. Perry is very successful and makes more money than they know what to do with. They have twin boys. Jane recently moved to the area. She’s a single mother of one son, Ziggy. 

This book has mommy drama, bullying, relationship drama, etc., but I can’t say too much without giving some of the book’s surprises away. It was my least favorite of her books so far, only because it took me a while to get into. Still, I would recommend this book for fans of women’s fiction and drama. Moriarty is an awesome author. :)

***The buy link above is from Amazon. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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