ARC Review: What Can't Wait

Author: Ashley Hope Perez
Genre: YA
Release: March, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5

Description: "Another day finished, gracias a Dios." Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. And they expect her to marry a boy from the neighborhood, to settle down, and to have grandbabies. If she wants a job, she could always be an assistant manager at the local grocery store.

At school, it's another story. Marisa's calc teacher expects her to ace the AP test and to get into an engineering program in Austin—a city that seems unimaginably far away. When her home life becomes unbearable, Marisa seeks comfort elsewhere—and suddenly neither her best friend nor boyfriend can get through to her. Caught between the expectations of two different worlds, Marisa isn't sure what she wants—other than a life where she doesn't end each day thanking God it's over.

What Can't Wait—the gripping debut novel from Ashley Hope PĂ©rez—tells the story of one girl's survival in a world in which family needs trump individual success, and self-reliance the only key that can unlock the door to the future.


  •  I honestly can't think of anything I didn't like about this book.

  •  I loved the character, Marisa. Such a strong, resilent girl with a good head on her shoulders. She could've whined about the cards life dealt her, but she doesn't. She's very loyal to her family, but in the end, she wants to do what's best for her.
  • I liked the fact that this character doesn't let her environment define her. She's not exactly rich, surrounded by people who got pregnant young, etc. She's determined to break the cycle.
  • Man, this book brings me through the emotions. I found myself cheering for Marisa, crying with her, etc.
  •  This is a very realistic book.

Many teens, especially teens of immigrants, will be able to understand Marisa's struggles. Even if you haven't been in the same situation, you can still understand the character. Marissa's determination will have you cheering her on. I loved this book!


ARC Review: Stroke of Midnight

Author: Bonnie Edwards
Genre: Erotica; Romance
Release: January, 2011
Rating: 2.5/5


An unlikely Cinderella…
When hardworking single mom Jaye Sinns meets younger playboy Alexander Carmichael, the sexual chemistry between them is undeniable. So Jaye gives in to temptation and allows him to whisk her away for her first-ever vacation. Two glorious weeks of no inhibitions, no strings and no responsibilities.

A charming prince of a guy…
Life with Alex is every woman’s fantasy—sizzling sex in the back of a limo, on a private plane, in exotic settings. But it’s not enough to fulfill a woman like Jaye for long. No matter how hot the sex is.

A happy ending?
Alex is soon craving more than Jaye’s body: he wants her love and admiration, too. For the first time in his life, he can’t buy the thing he desires most; and now he must decide if he’s willing to work at being the kind of man that Jaye needs, and give her the happily-ever-after she deserves.


What I Didn't Like
  • The ending felt rushed. It was a happy ending and there was just felt rushed.
  • It had a Cinderella premise, but was kind of predictable. Typical rich man meets and falls for poor girl...not much to set it apart.
  • The fact that Jaye was kind of quick to leave with a guy she just met. Would single mothers worried about their kids really leave for a whirlwind vacation with a stranger? I don't know. Maybe it's just me.

What I Did Like
  • Although it was quite predictable, the Cinderella theme kind of works for the story. I just wish there was something to set it apart from the other "Cinderella" romance stories.
  • The characters were well-developed despite the short length.
  • Jaye was a hardworking mother...I loved her strength.

Overall, it was an okay, but quick read. While it wouldn't be on my "Read Again" list, I enjoyed it. The love scenes were quite descriptive. Very hot and steamy. Lol!


Mail Call: Dubai Edition

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Here, we post books that we have bought, borrowed, or received.

About 2 weeks ago, I visited Dubai, which is only about an hour and a half away from me. One of the places on my "Must Visit" list was Book World by Kinokuniya in Dubai Mall. My goodness the place was HUGE! So. Many. Books. We're talking about 68,000 sq. ft. of awesomeness here. You know I was in heaven, right? Cos I was. Book Nerd Heaven.

I had to stop myself from going crazy with the book-buying. I ended up buying a few books. Just a few...

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
Modelland by Tyra Banks


Update/Future Plans

I'm still alive. I promise. Adjusting to living and working in another country has taken longer than I thought it would take. But I AM adjusting and that's what counts. I've just been totally drained by the end of my work days. Who knew teaching 20-something 3 and 4 year olds who don't speak speak your language could be so tiring. Because of my lack of energy, my writing, reading, and blogging has fallen behind. I'm hoping this is only temporary...something I'm experiencing cos I'm in a new country. Adjusting to a new environment takes time, right?

The end of the 1st trimester is near, so I should be good. I plan to relax and enjoy my WELL-DESERVED break in December. Of course, I plan to catch up also. There will be a few changes to both blogs for the new year. What changes, you may ask? Well, you'd have to wait til 2012. Until then, I'll be posting book reviews for the rest of this year.
Stay tuned...