Monday, June 22, 2009

Review and Giveaway - Ms. Taken Identity by Dan Begley

Ms. Taken Identity by Dan Begley

Genre: Chicklit I suppose, but it has a little bit of everything

Rating: 4.5/5.0

I used to read chicklit a lot, but it's been on the decrease lately so I just haven't read it as much. I am so glad that I picked this book from the Harper Collins imprint selections for this month. I knew it had an intriguing premise, I just didn't know it would be chicklit and so much more.

This is Mr. Begley's first novel and if how I feel about it is any indication it surely won't be his last.

The book starts with stuffy, stuck-up Mitch. He's a "serious" writer, he loves only authors who "make you think" and doesn't deal with any of the fluff that makes the best-seller lists regularly. He has a best friend, Bradley, who is a fairly down to earth guy, but other than that, he dates girls that are like him. They like the things he likes, they agree with the things he says. The latest in this line of girls is Hannah, who is in love with him, but as the book begins, realizes Mitch does not love her. Thus, the breakup. Truthfully the breakup does not affect Mitch very much. What does affect Mitch is the fact that his wonderful manuscript has been rejected everywhere.

Here is where the chance signing by a huge chicklit author, and then a chance meeting with her turns Mitch's life around. At first he thinks it's simple to write chicklit, but he quickly learns it's tougher than he thinks. So he starts researching. He joins a dance class suggested by Bradley as his sister is in it, becomes involved with the people in the class (even though they are obviously lower than him). And he even becomes involved with a woman from the class. Wonderful, right? Well the problem is they all know him as "Jason" not Mitch and of course our deceptions always come back to haunt us.

A well-planned and plotted book, this book kept my interest and made me fall in love with the characters. The dance-class characters were different yet you could see them all getting along. Mitch is a great character and you love watching him change without him realizing he is changing and I love the guy as a chicklit author angle (and it works for the author too).

The twists and turns are great and hold your interest. There is fun (going out after the dance class), varying characters, romance, breakups, fights (even fist fights) and so much more in this book. There is a serious side, but the humor and lightness remains throughout. This book was just such a joy to read. I hated when it ended because I wanted to know more about the characters (but it ends in a way that ties things up so you aren't left hanging). It's just that good of a book.

So check it out - it comes out today. Thank you to Miriam Parker for sending me this book.

Publisher: 5 Spot
Release Date: June 22, 2009
Pages: 288
Format: Trade Paperback

Other Reviews:
Lauren at Half Deserted Streets

Buy Ms. Taken Identity at IndieBound
Buy Ms. Taken Identity at

Miriam Parker has offered to send out one copy of this wonderful book to a winner from the blog so you will actually be getting the book instead of my arc! Thank you Miriam for offering this book to giveaway.

Contest will run through Monday July 6th at midnight and I'll draw the winner and post on Tuesday. Giveaway is open only to the U.S. and Canada. For entries:

  1. Leave a comment (and make sure I have a way to contact you)
  2. Become a follower or if you are already a follower let me know (for an additional entry)
  3. Follow me on twitter (see sidebar for link or I am cfulcher)
  4. Twitter about the contest (use @cfulcher so I will see it) and let me know about it (for an additional entry)
  5. Blog about the contest, sidebar mentions are fine (for an additional entry)
  6. Tell me your favorite chicklit or romance book.

What Are You Reading Monday - June 22

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see J.Kaye's Book Blog and join in!

Books Completed Last Week:

The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner - I received this ARC in the mail last week and it was a wonderful book - very suspenseful. See my review and Giveaway here.
Avalon High by Meg Cabot - Cute young adult story, quick read and lots of fun. Review here.
Ms. Taken Identity by Dan Begley - Book received for review. Chicklit-ish, and wonderful. Review and Giveaway to be posted later today.

Reading Now:
Gifts of War by MacKenzie Ford - received as an ARC
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris - my current mp3 player audiobook
Uglies by Scott Westerfield - my current computer audiobook
Nobody Does It Better by Cecily Von Ziegesar
All That Glitters by Nicole O'Dell - a young adult "interactive" book from Barbour Publishing

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - I have heard wonderful things about htis
I Apologize by Bradley Booth - this looks like a tearjerker and I can't wait to read it
Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro - book from Miriam Parker - see my giveaway here.

Summary -
3 books read last week. Several reviews caught up. I didn't end up having much time for Bloggiesta and I'm sorry about that. But all-in-all it was a good week.

Mailbox Monday - June 22nd

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. To see this weeks list of participants go here.

ARCs of:

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard - pub date: August 2009: - From the Editor's letter at the beginning of the book:

...which is set during a long weekend in 1987 and tells the simple yet profound story of a thirteen-year-old boy, his mother, and a stranger who suddenly enters their lives--and who is taken from them as unexpectedly as he appeared.

0 to 60 by Susan Slater - Pub Date: July 15, 2009

Shelly Sinclair's life is perfect - one most women would envy - a 35-year marriage to a successful doc, two grown boys, a beautiful home and the security of predictability. Without warning, this world collapses. Her husband of a lifetime announces that he's asked someone to marry him - someone thirty-nine years his junior. And, oh yes, the mother of his four-year-old child. Alone. At sixty. To start over. But maybe, just maybe this can be the best time ever.

The Amen Heresy by W.H. Muhlenfeld - Pub date: October 2009 - From the back:
Ex-priest and dyslexic expert of ancient languages, Jack Fisher, agrees to assist a friend and Israeli professor of religious history; and is drawn into an unsolved mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. His discovery of the true meaning of the copper Scroll threatens to expose the three religions of Abraham as the monotheistic legacy of an ancient, sun-worshiping pharaoh, Amen-hotep IV.
Jack joins forces with a beautiful agent of the Israeli Antiquities Autthority and a Palestinian boy of the streets as they battle a secret cabal of Jerusalem's high clerics and a murderous Egyptian madman for possession of the scroll and its revelations. Fisher wrestles with the demons of his own past as their search leads through the Old City of Jerusalem, onto the Judean Desert, to the tomb of an Egyptian noble and the holy site of the Burning Bush at Mount Sinai. Here the final struggle for possession of the scroll reveals a startling truth, sealing the fate of Jack Fisher, and of three billion Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Surviving a House Full of Whispers by Sharon Wallace - out now

Sharon suffered continual physical and sexual abuse from her stepfather for seven years. Unfortunately, no one would listen to her or believe her story. At age 16, she finally finds the courage to flee from her tormenters. Social Services find her the first of a string of temporary jobs between which she criss-crosses England trying to find a safe haven.

However, she cannot escape her "night devil" completely until she comes to terms with her past. Sharon's growth and recovery from abuse and learning to accept love would be a long road to travel, taking nearly forty years to achieve. She had to learn to trust and love herself before she could another.

Faced with society's judgments against her, Sharon stood alone against the people who abused her for seven years. The truth is, we don't start to heal when taken from an abusive situation; we only start to digest and relive its emotional content. Many go on to live their lives with tortured souls and an inability to trust and love their own children.

Equally, many of us find the inner child that God intended; we pull that child past the empty adult left by years of mutilation of our childhood souls. I was a no-hoper, unjustly cast out into a world of desolation and loneliness that pulled at my heart like a lead weight. I self-harmed and mutilated parts of my mind and body to try and erase memories.

Eventually, I learned that healing was within me and could never be found under that largest or smallest boulder. I have walked the road of hope and desire and looked into the pool of my future. I did not want to be the mother they had raised, or the wife they had created. Slowly, I started to rebuild my life and my wish is that this book offers the same hope to you.

From Booksfree I received:

Nobody Does It Better by Cecily Von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl #7)
Wake by Lisa McMann - I've finished this one and it's good!
both books I cannot wait to read

And from Paperbackswap I received:

Sunset Bay by Susan Mallery
Lip Service by Susan Mallery
Two sewing books

Another really good week - now I just have to get busy reading.