Second Chance Sunday – Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday Second Chance Sunday is brought to you by:

Second Chance Sunday – Catching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyCatching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc.
on December 1st 2011
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Amazon, Goodreads

ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

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To say I was excited for this book is an understatement. A book about football and cute boys? Sign me up. I mean how could you go wrong with two of my favorite things! And Kenneally didn’t let me down. She took what could have been a typical story of finding out what you wanted may not be what you need and made it into more than that.

Jordan is a funny, sassy, tough QB of her high school football team. She has the respect of all the guys on her team and her coach. She isn’t a girly girl or a primper. She is a tomboy that loves the game of football and wants nothing more then to play college ball and to gain the support of her NFL pro father. She has worked hard for this, her spot in life and doesn’t want it to be taken away. And then comes Ty. Ty literally flips Jordan’s whole world around leaving her feeling like she was sacked in the end zone, changing everything she thought she knew and wanted and complicating things.

Complicating things even more is Henry. (And in a complete fan girl moment I must admit I am head over heels for him. LOL). Henry has been Jordan’s bestie for ten years. The two of them are closer then close and when he starts acting weird Jordan is left grasping for something to hold on to. He backs off and Jordan freaks out because Henry is everything and I can’t say I blame her.

I have to say my favorite part of this book was the friendship between Jordan and Henry.
I loved how they were with one another. It is very rare to find a friend that is your soulmate and I truly think these two were that for one another. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every character in this book. From the other guys on the team to the cheerleaders, to Jordan’s parents. Every single one of them added to the story, but Henry and Jordan were the shining light.

Miranda Kennally’s debut was an amazing mix of smiles and tears and laughter and yearning. Add in a Tom Brady and a Nomar Garciaparra mention and this girl is sold! Awesome awesome book. Can’t wait for more from her.

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February Wish List

Starting this month I am going to create a wish list of the items I am hopeful to find and buy. It’s important to know exactly what you are looking for so you don’t head blindly into a store and end up buying everything in site(which I may or may not have been guilty of in the past). This month I’m looking to get 6 pieces for my wardrobe/book shelf/accessory &shoe pile.

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1) Animal print Skinny Jeans: I truly heart these ones from Old Navy. They currently have my size online and the price is right, but I question if they will be too young for a 30 something year old like myself. I may have to bit the bullet and buy them to find out.

2) Anchor Printed Flip Flops: I admit it, I wish I had a boat, I am obsessed with anchor prints, anchor jewlery, anchor iPhone cases. If it has an anchor I want it. I saw these adorable flip flops on Forever 21‘s Website and I’m lusting after them.

3) The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson: It’s the sequel to The Name of the Star which was phenomenal and left me itching to find out what happens. It will be released late February and this kid may just have to buy it then.

4) Polka Dot Loafers: I have seen these at the Gap in person(they aren’t available on line) and I want them badly. I was never a huge loafer fan until recently and now I want to get like a million pairs. First off my check list, polka dot ones.

5) Mint Boyfriend Cardigan: I heart all things cardigan. They are such a staple in my wardrobe and can worn so many different ways. I have a huge assortment of colors, but what I don’t have is a mint green one. I saw this one on American Eagle‘s website and it is super cute. I’m just not sure if the color isn’t minty enough. Well either way the hunt is on.

6) Mint shorts: This is the main shopping purchase that I want to get this month. I saw them in the J. Crew catalog and was smitten. I’ve always been a fan of J. Crew’s fit when it comes to shorts and this color just adds to the lust factor. Since J. Crew is currently offering free shipping on their site for all purchases, these may be bought sooner rather then later.
What’s on your February Wish List?

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January Shopping

And this begins my monthly shopping posts. Every month I will show you what I have purchased and roughly what I have spent on those purchases. Some months will be higher than others and some months will have mostly nothing(highly unlikely knowing me). The purpose of this post, which I have seen on a lot of blogs, is a way for me to see just what I am spending and for you to see how you can spend on some sort of a budget.

 The Clothes

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Gap and Old Navy were having a sale earlier this month and when Gap and Old Navy have a sale I usually take advantage of it for the things I have had my eye on. It started with some XMAS money I got in the form of an Old Navy gift card then moved on to the center sweater(#10) that I had been lusting over. It look a mind of its own from there. The other items, the J Crew items were purchased at the factory outlet store. I went with the mindset that I would love navy pixie pants but was unlikely to find them, to actually finding them for cheaper and a couple of other useful pieces.

1) Old Navy The Rockstar Jean Jacket
2) J Crew Pixie Pant
3) Gap Slim Cropped Refined Dot Pants
4) Old Navy The Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans
5) Old Navy Striped Tee Dresses
6) Old Navy The Rockstar Micro-Dot Skinny Jean
7) J Crew Toothpick Jean in Garment-Dyed Twill
8) Old Navy Striped Jersey Dresses
9) Old Navy Tab-Sleeve Plaid-Chiffon Shirt (purchased in black, no longer available)
10) Gap Intarsia chevron sweater

Not pictured:
1) J Crew Striped Shawl Front Cardigan
2) Target Mens Striped Buttoned Down

The Shoes


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The shoes are pretty self explanatory. If you know me at all you know I have never met a shoe store I didn’t like. I went into DSW with the sole purpose of checking out the ballet flats. I had just recently purchased a pair of mintish green flats at Old Navy which I loved but weren’t the exact shade I was looking for. Seeing this Steve Madden pair(#2) and it being a style that I already had 3 other pairs in, I was sold immediately. From there it went downhill as I hit up the sale rack and the rest is as they say, history. However I did get the Sperry’s for under $50.00 and that just couldn’t be passed up. I haven’t decided if I will return them yet as they are the only pair I haven’t worn, but for right now they are part of my January purchases.

1) Sperry Top-Sider Intrepid Metallic Boat Shoe
2) Steve Madden Heaven Pastel Patent Flat
3) Adrienne Vittadini Monet Ballet Flat (out of stock)

 

Final 2 Items

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I was originally done shopping for the month after my Gap shopping trip, but a deal came about at The Loft that I couldn’t pass up. I had a coupon for $20 off my purchase thanks to Loft credit card rewards and there was a coupon code for $50 off a regular price purchase of $100 or more so I got a steal on both items.

1) Farah Cap Top Ballet Flats
2) Gravity Stripe Ponte Shift Dress

All in all I probably spent about $200.00 this month of my own money with the rest being spent on gift cards I had received for Christmas. Not bad for all the things I got. A tad over my budget, but still not bad at all. What did you buy this month?

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Michael Kors Hamilton Bag Shopping Experience

Well if you have been paying the least bit of attention to me or my blog then you know I bought the Michael Kors Hamilton bag and am in love. We are generally exclusive these days and I couldn’t be happier. But what made this expensive purchase(this is the most expensive bag I own until I can afford the $2000.00 Prada Saffiano Lux Double-Zip Tote I want) all the more worth it was the service I got at the Michael Kors store.

hamilton4I knew as soon as I walked into the store what I wanted. I had seen the bag not only online (I do my research before making a big purchase) but also in person and spoke to someone that actually had the bag. I knew I wanted the Hamilton with the Rose Gold hardware but I also knew that would be harder to get since it seemed to be sold out online and at other MK carries. I was ready to settle for the Gold hardware and was okay with that, it’s just as nice. But as my mom taught me, it never hurts to ask. So as soon as I entered the Copley Mall location I said I was interested in the Hamilton. The super friendly sales associate explained that they had a variety of styles and colors and asked if I knew what I wanted. I asked about the Rose Gold which was met with hamilton3an immediate no, we are all sold out unfortunately. I was about to say that I would look at the gold when another sale associate jumped in saying she knew where she could find me what I was looking for. She explained that she worked at another MK store normally and was just filling in and that her real location had the Rose Gold. After a quick phone call and an description of something called a “charge/send” was given to me, and order form was filled out, my debit card information was taken down as were the gift cards I had been saving. Slightly nervous about the whole thing since I was giving out gift card numbers and my debit card number without actually have the item in my hand I asked the sales associate, Lilian, when I could expect my bag. She gave me a card and wrote her name down with the number to the other store and assured me I would get the bag by Wednesday(it was Friday of the long holiday weekend at this point) by the latest. If I didn’t not receive my bag buy then to call her at the store because she was going to ship it herself. Taking this woman at her word I left very excited and a tad nervous.

hamilton2So after checking my bank account later on I saw that I was in fact charged what I should have been but I hadn’t received any shipping information.  The worry once again set in but I tried not to panic. When it reached Tuesday night and I still had no contact from Michael Kors or Lilian I had decided I would call her Wednesday when the store opened. However at about 8:30 Tuesday night the door bell rang and it was Fed Ex(more like a ding dong ditch hamilton1scenario). To my surprise it was a package from Michael Kors. My bag had arrived! I was so excited to open it up I tried to rip right in, but it was packed so well I needed scissors. Once inside I found my bag filled with tissue paper, in a dust bag, and a hand written note from Lilian tell me to enjoy my bag and if I need anything to call. Now that my friend is how you do customer service. And I have never been in more love!

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Basically this post is my long winded way of saying: SHOP MICHAEL KORS!

Have you ever had a great shopping experience?

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Discussion: Promised – Caragh O’Brien

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Title: Promised(Birthmarked Series)[Amazon]
Author: Caragh O’Brien[website]
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Genre: Dystopian
Source/Type: ARC/Paperback
Reviewed by: Andi & Michelle

Publisher Description:After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever.  She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland.  In Gaia’s absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher.  Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what–or whom–she loves most?

Discussion:
Andi: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I can’t adequately explain how much I loved this third and final book of the Birthmarked Trilogy. It had everything that pulled me into the first one and more. My Leon was back and with him was the Gaia I loved from the get go.

Michelle: Couldn’t agree more!  The second book wasn’t bad, just different, but I was glad to see O’Brien get back to the original tone and come out strong in the end.  In particular, I liked that Gaia got her balls back.  She was a bit wishy washy in book two and seeing her stand up to Leon’s father and the whole of the Enclave was well received on my part.  Vive la revolucion!

So let’s get down to it.  What did you think about Gaia’s progression in this book?

A: I think that was one of the things I loved most about this series. Gaia basically grew up right in front of our eyes. In book one she was a scared little girl, book two she was a confused, broken hearted orphan and in the final book she was an adult, a leader, that was ready to make difficult choices even if it came at a cost to her personally. She matured beyond her years in Promised and it made her all the more likable as a character. Between her solid relationship with Leon, her friendship with Will, and the comfort and leadership she provided for the people of New Sylum, she became the heroine she could have been from the start.

M: YES!  She was what made the book.  Her strength, ability and ultimate vulnerability carried the story to great depths.  Underlying that all she was so lonely (even though she was never really alone) and somewhat desperate for family.  Having lost her parents she wanted to be sure that her sister remained a part of her life at all costs and that was what drove her to take the risks she did.  It was what kept her going which I found to be truly enthralling.

That and her growing relationship with Leon.  Theirs was the type of love story that I enjoy a great deal.  There was so much push and pull to it.  The evolution of each of them individually then together as a couple was intriguing.  The underlying love was there but at times the angst of their situation and surroundings seeping in caused realistic problems.  That and the frustration, spite and all around determination they both had was fab-U-lous.

A: My heart really broke for Leon through a lot of it. His father just did not love him at all. He had no faith in him and found it easier to find the bad in him than the good and only cared about believing a story in his head than seeing who his son really was. Just like Gaia, Leon too was looking for a family, a place to belong because he never had that feeling of safety and security growing up. Gaia was that for him and if anything happened to her that the hands of his father he would never have forgiven himself.

That was one of the characteristics I loved about Leon, and Gaia too to an extent. They would have laid their lives down for each other without hesitation if they thought one of them would be saved. I hated what Leon’s father had done to Gaia, but she willingly would have done it just to save the boy she loved and relied on. You know what I mean?

M:  I absolutely know what you mean.  I found their dedication and loyalty to each other appealing as well.  That neither of them had that “what’s in it for me” outlook was fairly impressive.  I was equally impressed with O’Brien’s ability to keep from making those traits appear too over the top.  There wasn’t too much pining and hysterical behavior from either of them.  both were clear in their vision of what needed to happen, were proactive in planning the steps to get there, then active in making those steps come to pass.  They each thought of the other but didn’t also didn’t discount the greater population.  Both realized what the impact of their actions would be not only on themselves and their relationship but also the friends, family and general population that were relying on them to make things better.

To that point, what did you think of how the overall conflict with the Enclave played out and was resolved?

A: I must admit some of it seemed slightly rushed and a tad convenient. The scenes of the attack wasn’t 100% believable for me. It was slightly wrapped up in a nice tidy bow at the end and I guess it just left me wanting more. Maybe that was my issue and why I thought it was rushed. I want another book about these people. I want more story. I want aftermath so I felt just slightly cheated. O’Brien has a gold mine with these characters. I mean even in the second book, the book I wasn’t over the moon about, I was invested in what happened and what choices they made. So for the book/conflict to be done the way it was…I just wanted more. I still want more!

M:  I felt like the situation was rushed as well.  The whole premise of the story was built on this society and the differences between what was happening within the walls and without.  How one upheld the other.  The story veered, through the second book, into a relationship focus.  Mainly Gaia’s relationships.  This wasn’t a bad thing necessarily but it made the compelling story that the different societies rebelling with each other fall short.

Like you, I also would love something more from these characters.  A follow up several years later to see where everyone is would be fantastic!

A: Maybe we should start a campaign, get a petition going, call in the National Guard! Do you think that will get us some more of this wonderfulness? If so, I’m all in.

M:  I never rule out the possibility.  Sometimes if you scream loud enough and long enough people start to listen.  Or at the very least do what you want to shut you up!

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