tHe crooKed WorD

As of April 30, 2014 we will no longer be posting reviews on tHe crooKed WorD. Reading is like breathing for us - and discovering new books and authors has been a wonderful adventure - but the time has come for us to move on. Thank you for your support, for allowing us into your lives, and for letting us influence in some small way the contents of your bookshelves.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It

Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It
by Whitney Boyd

Paperback236 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by WiDo Publishing (first published April 7th 2012)

Mikayla: Cute Canadian college girl turned world-famous, super- sexy pop-star practically overnight. And still figuring out if she belongs in this celebrity wonderland.
Jordan: The only genuine guy in all of L.A. Law student, and extremely attractive. Also happens to hate the Hollywood celebrity scene.

Matt: Stupid, lying, money-loving ex-boyfriend trying to get back into Mikayla’s life and ruin every hope she has with Jordan.

Kurt: Personal trainer, confidant and only true friend Mikayla has in her new life. Questionable fashion sense included.

Cheryl: Completely psychotic manager.

The next three months? Happily ever after with Jordan. Or social and career ruin with no hope of ever finding true love…


This is a fun story about a girl who wound up nearly instantly famous.  She can't be herself and has to put on an act to meet the expectations of the fans.  She meets a guy she can be herself with- but he doesn't know who she really is.  It's fun to see her two worlds collide.  An entertaining read!

3.5/5 stars

Monday, February 24, 2014

Double Dare

Double Dare
by Rhonda Nelson

Kindle Edition106 pages
Published October 28th 2011 by Rhonda Nelson (first published October 2000)

Runaway bride Louisa Honeycut is looking for a quick escape when she passes the Double Dare, Inc sign and the slogan "Are you ready for the time of your life?" seems like divine intervention. Sheltered by her overbearing father, Louisa has years of catching up to do and can think of no better person than gorgeous Sam Rawlins to show her. Is she ready for the time of her life? Hell, yes.

Ordinarily unflappable adventure guide Sam Rawlins makes his living showing the wealthy how to have fun, but nothing in his experience could have prepared him for the "adventure" Louisa Honeycut asks for. He might be showing Louisa the time of her life, but the quirky little snack-cake heiress is soon turning Sam's own life upside down...and perversely, he likes the new vantage point.


A runaway bride story with a twist.  She wants an adventure after spending years doing her father's bidding- and she gets one.  This is a really quick read.  It's fun and flighty if you need a distraction from life.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Swans in Sight (Parakeet Princess #3)

Swans in Sight (Parakeet Princess #3)
by Jandy Branch

ebook270 pages
Published September 10th 2012 (first published September 9th 2012)

In the final installment in the Parakeet Princess trilogy, we find Heather MacLean midway through her 3rd year of university. Despite the frenzy of her high school days, she hasn't had a date in seven months. With nothing new in her love life, she starts to fall back into old habits -- and old insecurities. Her first love, Ben Jones, is back after two years in Switzerland. Maybe there’s still a chance he can make Heather happy for life. And then there's the more dangerous prospect of the looming return of Heather's favourite vampire. Being on her own would probably be easier if she didn't have to watch Tannis, her best friend, dating Lars Hansen. He’s a man who seems eerily perfect – or, at least, perfect for Heather. Set in a large LDS singles' ward in the mid-1990s, this is a clean, uplifting story about the clumsy, convoluted, crowded road to true love.


Heather goes to college- and all the drama associated with such a change.  A fun and quick read that I enjoyed!  Heather moves from a small town to a big city to start college and is once again thrown into a new world.  As she adjusts and grows she learns how to thrive.  It's a sweet story!

3.5/5 stars

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bats in Between (Parakeet Princess #2)

Bats in Between (Parakeet Princess #2)
by Jandy Branch

ebook246 pages
Published September 1st 2012 (first published August 31st 2012)

In her final year of high school in the small "Mormon town" of Upton, Heather MacLean seems to be doing just fine. Even though she's still considered the new-girl, she's feeling more at home. She's dating her dream boy, Ben Jones, and she's on track to become the town's first female valedictorian. But when Ben leaves town to go to university in the capital city, Heather is left to make friends with Aaron, the town's resident gloomy vampire-boy. Will she make it out of high school unscathed? Follow Heather through the sequel to "Parakeet Princess" as she navigates the perils of mandatory gym class, a long distance relationship, and finding out the hard way what love is not. This is a clean, uplifting story about growth and girl-power. Set in the 1990s, it has something to offer older readers looking to see reflections of their own experiences. 


I liked this book even more than the first.  It's easy to relate to Heather as she's torn between friends and choices.  The high school drama is fun and the characters and very believable!

4/5 stars

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Parakeet Princess

Parakeet Princess
by Jandy Branch

Published June 11th 2012 by Smashword

Heather MacLean is in a new world. She's always been happy to be a Mormon but now, at age sixteen, she's moved to a small town where Mormons are mainstream instead of a minority. It's a shock to her system -- and her love life. Though she doesn't feel like she fits in at her new school, Heather finds friends at the restaurant where she works part-time. Her new friends aren't Mormons. But that doesn't keep some of them from being interested in more than friendship. The most tempting of them is her best friend's twin brother. His name is Wayne and he's got a natural charisma that makes Heather wonder if she'd like to follow him -- no matter where he leads. Guiding her through her growing pains is Heather's older brother's new best friend, Ben. He's an awkward, thoughtful boy who calls Heather "Parakeet" after his family's pet bird. Can Heather overcome her prejudices and Ben's reserve and find romance with him? Or will she take a giant step away from the way of life she's always known and follow Wayne? Set in the early 1990s, the story offers something for young adult readers and for older readers looking to revisit their own high school days.


I loved the opening of this book!  It drew me in and had me hooked!  It's one of the best openings I've read in awhile.  This is LDS fiction.  If that's not your thing then this may not be for you.  I like it because it's clean and I can recommend it to teenagers without worrying if the content is too explicit.  This is a quick read about a girl who's moved to a new community.   She's facing new struggles in every aspect of her life.  It's fun to see how she grows to meet her new challenges.  

3.5/5 stars

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

HardcoverFirst Edition313 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Dutton Books

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


I did NOT like this book.  At all.  In fact, hate is probably a better word.  I wish I hadn't read it.  I know, I'm in the minority on this one.  

For some, I'm sure it's an insight to the heartbreak and struggles of those suffering from cancer.  For me, it's way too close to home.  I can't approach this book without my own raw emotions surfacing and some of the implications made by the author truly bothered me.  Overall, it portrays the unfairness of illness and the devastation it brings.  All of that is true.  However, it seems to be more focused on portraying a message and on being philosophical than seems balanced.  In a book like this, humor can be a major asset.  However, I felt that it was ill-applied in this story.  

?/5 stars  (ironic, I can't even come up with a number of stars for a book about "stars")

Thursday, February 6, 2014

All She Wanted (Letting Go #2)

All She Wanted (Letting Go #2)
by Nicole Deese

Paperback349 pages
Published May 31st 2013 by "CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform" 


They determine how we live, who we are, and what we want. 
Some choices are made for us. Others we must make for ourselves. 

Charlie Lexington is a living consequence of both. 

Everything about the feisty redhead represents a second chance—even her name. Though she was rescued at the age of five, her past is a lingering reminder of what she longs for most.

And the one thing she has spent a lifetime trying to find. 

After a series of less-than-stellar choices, her Performing Arts Scholarship now hangs by a thread. Her sudden suspension has not only resulted in her father’s disappointment, but in the loss of her freedom as well. 

She is forced to face the music: four weeks house arrest. 

Briggs is the carefree, charming, yet all-too-mouthy fireman who is asked to keep an eye on the pretty little spitfire. He quickly learns, however, that his first assessment of her was off—she’s tougher than she looks. When her stubborn resolve pushes his sanity and intercepts his heart, his loyalties are put to the test. 

Sometimes the hardest choice we make, is the one we must make for love…


I love Ms. Deese's writing style!  This is the first book I've read by her and I'll be looking for more.  It's the second book in this series but it easily stands alone.  I got sucked into this story where I laughed and cried. The story of Charlie is fun and entertaining and deeper as you learn where she's been and the things that have brought her to this point.  It pulls raw emotions and struggles which many can relate to.  I liked the different points of view throughout the story and the perspective it gives the reader.  I highly recommend this book!

4.5/5 stars

Monday, February 3, 2014

Regally Blonde (Chick Flick Clique #2)

Regally Blonde (Chick Flick Clique Romantic Comedy #2)
by Heather Horrocks

Kindle Edition270 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Word Garden Press

This book is #2 of the popular Chick Flick Clique series.

Former beauty queen, Jamie Summers, has more problems than just world peace to worry about. When Jamie returns to her hometown of Aspen Grove, her mother's Chick Flick Clique friends are exceedingly curious about the state of her relationship with long-time boyfriend, Christopher Ellington. Jamie is curious herself. When Christopher proposes for the third time, she hesitantly accepts. Since he immediately leaves for an extended overseas business trip, she's relieved to have some time to get used to the idea, placing the ring safely beside her tiara and not mentioning it to anyone. New neighbor, David Stevens, has good reason to avoid beautiful women, but when his three-year-old daughter, Sunny, sees Jamie, she's convinced she's her mommy. As he begins to learn more about her, he realizes she's not like his dead wife, and he's glad she's not wearing any man's ring. How did life get so complicated so quickly? Jamie's gone from Miss California to Miss America to Big Mistake. Is she about to lose everyone she's come to care about?


I really liked this novella!  It's a cute story of a girl who's beautiful on the inside and out and does much good in her world.  I liked the drama with her next-door neighbor and his daughter.  It's a sweet story!