Save Karyn by Karyn Bosnak

I have been dying to get my hands on a copy of this book for years! Finally found one from BetterWorldBooks.com last month and decided to order it. It finally arrived in the mail a couple of days ago.

I know what you’re probably thinking, I should just have bought an e-book or download one for free, but I’ve always been a fan and fond of reading the “book” itself, as in in physical form. Anyways, here’s what today’s book is all about.

Taken from GoodReads.com — technically from the back of the book itself. :P

Drowning in $20,000 of credit card debt, shopaholic Karyn Bosnak asked strangers for money online — and it worked!

What would you do if you owed $20,000? Would you: A) not tell your parents? B) start your own website that asked for money without apology? or C) stop coloring your hair, getting pedicures, and buying Gucci? If you were Karyn Bosnak, you’d do all three.

Karyn started a funny yet honest website, www.savekaryn.com, on which she asked for donations to help her get out of debt. Karyn received e-mails from people all over the world, either confessing their own debt-ridden lives, or criticizing hers. But after four months of Internet panhandling and selling her prized possessions on eBay, her debt was gone!

In Save Karyn: One Shopaholic’s Journey to Debt and Back, Karyn details the bumpy road her financial — and personal — life has traveled to get her where she is today: happy, grateful, and completely debt-free. In this charming cautionary tale, Karyn chronicles her glamorous rise, her embarrassing fall, and how the kindness of strangers in cyberia really can make a difference.

I really love Karyn Bosnak’s way of writing, it’s always so simple but unique at the same time. This book became my source of motivation during the last couple of days. After I was done with it, I knew that her lessons did not end where the last words in her book were printed, she imparted it with me.

This book about a major part of her life is a wake-up call to everyone who is probably on the verge of giving up on everything. Save Karyn motivates and teaches the value of giving wholeheartedly without expecting something in return. She might have made a terrible mistake before, but who doesn’t anyway, right?

I personally think that her purpose of sharing her story in this book is not just to let people know that she had a genius idea that helped her out of the mess she was in but also through her story, she imparted probably the best life advice anyone could share and that is to never tire to give, forgive and fight back with kindness.

Save Karyn made me think hard about some areas of my life and it even made me want to be a better person not only for my own good but for the benefits of other people who helped me in the past and to those who might someday need my help.

Save Karyn, in my opinion, is better than any self-help books that ever exist. Five delish cookies with milk.




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Borrowed Children by George Ella Lyon

Read this book when I was is the fourth grade. I didn’t understood it well back then, all I knew about it was it’s about a young girl that was forced to stay home, manage a household and take care of a newborn baby. Nevertheless, I loved it. Here’s the summary from GoodReads.com:

Twelve-year-old Amanda Perritt is pitched head-first into adult responsibilities when she has to quit school to care for her newborn brother and invalid mother. She gets an excape, she thinks, when she’s offered a trip to stay with her grandmother and her sophisticated Aunt Laura in Memphis. But during the visit, she discovers unexpected parallels between her mother’s childhood and her own and comes to understand her own individuality as well as what it means to be part of a family.

Years later, I decided to look for a copy and finally found one. I’ve decided to re-read it and I was surprised that my perspective and understanding changed. The story seemed too complicated to me before to find sense in it, but right now I can tell that it’s little complexity showed nothing more but a pre-teen’s perspective about a complicated life situation she suddenly delved into.

This book tells the story of 12-year old Mandy Perritt and how she became a mother instantly to a newborn baby and how she sacrificed her love and thirst for a good education when her mother fell really ill after giving birth to her little brother.

This book is worth reading. Might even take you back to that old pre-teen feelings you had when you felt deprived of something but at the same time instills the value of appreciating whatever you have instead of thinking that you’re being deprived of for other people might have experienced worse than you did.

Great story! Four cookies!




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Omerta by Mario Puzo

What is there left for me to say for such a capturing, entertaining, and page-turning, magnificent piece of literature? I don’t mean to sound overrated here, but this book is just as magnificent as The Godfather itself.

Here’s the summary from GoodReads.com:

To Don Raymonde Aprile’s children he was a loyal family member, their father’s adopted “nephew.” To the FBI he was a man who would rather ride his horses than do Mob business. No one knew why Aprile, the last great American Don, had adopted Astorre Viola many years before in Sicily; no one suspected how he had carefully trained him … and how, while the Don’s children claimed respectable careers in America, Astorre Viola waited for his time to come.

Now his time has arrived. The Don is dead, his murder one bloody act in a drama of ambition and deceit — from the deadly compromises made by an FBI agent to the greed of two crooked NYPD detectives and the frightening plans of a South American Mob kingpin. In a collision of enemies and lovers, betrayers and loyal soldiers, Astorre Viola will claim his destiny. Because after all these years, this moment is in his blood …

Mario Puzo truly is a great author of mafia stories; with his knowledge of mafia stories, federal strategies and his creativity, he was able to make his readers crave for more of each of his works. I honestly find Omerta very compelling, and although I felt that there should still be more to it, I find its ending satisfying.

Each page is like a movie scene, reeling before your very eyes. This book made me want to make a movie out of it. Five cookies!


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The Zombie Whisperer by Jesse Petersen

Although the story is quite predictable and the cover is a little off, still this final book in the Living with the Dead series is a better ending than I have expected.

In this last book, we follow Dave and Sarah who are living a quiet life in a farmhouse somewhere in Montana after their heart pounding adventure in the previous book. This time though, Dave was reluctant to leave the farm but Sarah thinks otherwise, until a chopper landed on their yard revealing Nicole and The Kid asking them to go back to some lab in Seattle with them, wherein they have continued the research about the cure and the process of exterminating hordes of the undead using the cure.

Eventually, Dave got Sarah to agree to go back to Seattle where the apocalypse began, and there, a new adventure began. They met new people, fought more zombies to clear out some parts of the university, fixing the fence, unfolding secrets in which Sarah had her fair share of and betrayal.

Towards the middle of the novel, Sarah confessed that she’s pregnant and she have been keeping it from Dave and everyone all along, that is why she didn’t want to leave for Seattle in the first place. But there seemed to be something wrong with their baby, it seemed that it has acquired Dave’s ‘bionic’ traits and it grows faster everyday. With this, Sarah and Dave have attracted some unexpected guests from the previous book and are now after their little Zombie.

I honestly find it quite unoriginal, with the fast paced pregnancy and the physical toll it brought to Sarah, add to that Dave’s cold reaction and feelings towards their baby. It really reminded me of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, but then again, it’s entertaining, especially that readers get to read about Dave’s thoughts about the events and an additional narrator was added when Sarah was knocked out and kidnapped towards the end of the story. At the end, as expected, they managed to survive another breathtaking and life-risking event which saved the world from further destruction and slowly restored it to become a safer and livable place.

It was still action packed and still gives me the urge to keep on reading until the very last page. And although it has become quite Breaking Dawn-ish and had some errors in the text, I still loved it. Four cookies!



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Eat.Slay.Love by Jesse Petersen

Yes, I pledge guilty for being addicted in reading the books in this series and you can put all the blame to Jesse Petersen. I just had to buy the third book (in ebook form) in the Living with the Dead series after finishing the second one. Although the second book was lengthy enough, still I can’t get enough of Sarah and David; I just sort of fell in love with them and their story.

I honestly liked this book better than the previous ones in the series. I guess it’s because of the less predictable scenarios and more action filled pages. Zombies doesn’t seem to be the main problem of Sarah and David now in this part of the series, and I liked that the author was able to look into the fact that fellow humans are also a huge threat to other survivors but she was able to balance out the situation with Kathleen’s character and her crew.

Found bits of errors in the text though, like misused words and wrong use of linking verbs, but it may just be because I was reading the ebook format. Anyway, the ending was a bit lacking as usual, but at some point I really thought that it was the last book in the series. I just sort of fell in love with Sarah and David, that at some point I got disappointed thinking it was the last book, but alas! It is not.

It was a short read, but it’s something zombie novel lovers would definitely enjoy. :) Four cookies and a high five! haha :D



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Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen

As I have mentioned with my previous review of the first book in the Living with the Dead series, the story left me asking for more and true enough, the second book in the series filled the lacking space that the first book left. So I acquired an ebook of the second book and started reading away as if I’ve nothing to do at all.

In the second book, we follow Dave and Sarah forming some sort of a trade business during the apocalypse by means of zombie extermination. They were tasked to kill zombies for other survivors in exchange for supplies, and with their team work and what seemed to be a stronger marriage, they slashed and fired away every zombie in their way.

Until they came across a scientist who claims to have been studying the “epidemic” and who is in the process of finding the cure in an underground lab of an old military warehouse. The scientist hired them and sent them to missions where they encountered stronger zombies which apparently revived some of the logic left in them, that made Sarah and Dave call them “bionics”. During their first mission, they have also come across with a pre-teen boy, whom they address to as “The Kid” throughout the story.

Towards the latter part of the novel, the couple discovered far difficult challenges more than the apocalypse itself, and it’s the mad-scientist, the cure and Dave getting bitten.

The second book is definitely better than the first book. Far more exciting and action packed and more witty, if I must say. Not as disappointingly short either. I honestly liked it better than the first one. The language situation was practically the same though, but it gave the book a more personal diary feel to it, as if Sarah was really writing it herself rather than just plainly narrating it.

I really can’t wait to read Eat. Slay. Love. :) This deserves four cookies.



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Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen

Thanks to Manel Loureiro, I decided to go on a Zombie novel reading marathon. I am having my internship and the vacant time could get really boring, so I decided to give Jesse Petersen a shot with the first part of the Living with the Dead series, Married with Zombies.

Married with Zombies tells us the tale of a married couple Sarah and David who, at the time of the spark of the apocalypse, were at the brink of divorce and are going to couple’s counseling. During one of their sessions they noticed that the road was unusually practically empty, considering that they live in Seattle wherein traffic was just part of their lives. Apart from that, they found their therapist ripping the client before them into shreds.

With the world starting to fall apart and humanity into shambles and hordes of the undead, Sarah and David realized and learned far greater things about themselves and their relationship, which eventually saved their marriage and made them stronger.

This is really a good book to read if you are a fan of zombie novels or if you’re just looking for an easy, adventure packed, book. Although it lacks more story towards the end, still it was action packed and a really enjoyable book to read. It will definitely leave you asking for more of it, so I’m giving this book four cookies for the awesome, action-packed adventure.



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Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro

I kicked off my 2013 with a Zombie novel because I was really getting impatient from waiting for the season comeback of The Walking Dead. I am just really grateful of Goodreads as it has been my guide to great books recently. I have my Goodreads account for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that I made use of it. LOL

I found a good zombie book written by a Spanish author and the first book in his series was translated in English, so I decided to go with it. I immediately looked for an ebook, bought it and just started with my adventure.

Plot from Goodreads:

The dead rise…

A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news—it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men.

Humanity falls…

A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog would ultimately record humanity’s last days.

The end of the world has begun…

Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called “Safe Havens” are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves. Armed only with makeshift weapons and the will to live, a lone survivor will give mankind one last chance against…

My Review: It was a bit boring at first as it’s written in diary form, sort of like Jonathan Harker’s diary in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But like the said novel, the story gets better as it progresses; it’s naturally written style, I think, is what made this novel easy to read, while the events made it more exciting to read. Loureiro, although I have never read his previous works, captured me with every line of this book with its realistic turn of events and its heart-pounding horde chases, gun shootings and car drifting. I am honestly getting impatient waiting for the English version of the second book.

I’m giving this book five cookies for the awesome flesh-hunting, heart-pounding adventure. :)



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Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby

Bohemia is really my type of novel, considering that I have this burning passion for everything nostalgic, and it’s really not that hard to fall in love with it. Here’s the summary from GoodReads.com:

In her debut novel, Veronika Carnaby picks up where the Beat Generation left off. Set in 1960, Bohemia chronicles a group of twenty-somethings who defy the “ideals” of a mid-twentieth century society to seek creative fulfillment. In the process, they spotlight the creative path that artists of all mediums tread, all the while depicting the challenges faced by youth in the decade that changed the world.

Veronika Carnaby’s way of weaving words, events and characters together is totally capturing. It was as if I am slowly being taken back into time in the 60’s and watch everything happen before my eyes. She really did paint pictures with words, and that’s my number one basis of a great book.

Bohemia is very realistic as well. Considering the time-table of the story, I think it was really difficult for a person to write something based from a very different era, but everything came naturally with Bohemia, from the jargon, the culture to the fashion. It’s that sort of book that makes you crave for more as the story progresses and leaves you disappointed in the last page because you think there should be more to it.

Veronika Carnaby was able to bring back the 60’s in this modern world and introduced it to another generation with downright success through her debut novel.

Bohemia is a very easy read, in my opinion, it’s not too long but it’s not too short as well, and it’s really capturing. I personally recommend it to anyone who’s planning to build a reading list, or to add it to their existing ones as this is really a great addition to any booklover’s shelf. Four cookies.




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Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

This is obviously a classic, what else can I say about it? It has award winning written all over it, and I don’t just mean that literally.

Here’s the summary from GoodReads.com:

Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force-a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

It’s a must read for vampire literature fanatics, no other novel could be compared to this compelling tale of Louis, Claudia and Lestat. It’s a definite must read if you still have not read it; it will take you to places you never thought of going to, and experience lavishly an adventure of a lifetime.

Call me overrated, but that was what I have been through as I read this book. This book deserves 5 cookies for the magnificent craftsmanship of Anne Rice.




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