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Bambbles Rambles

Books, Reviews, and general awesomeness

About Julia

Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.

I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.

Feel free to follow and reblog!

Currently reading

Wanton Christmas Wishes
Eliza Lloyd, Samantha Kane, Kate Pearce, Monica Burns, Madelynne Ellis, Jess Michaels
The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm, Matthew R. Price, Noel Daniel
Progress: 21 %
I Love it When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech
Ralph Keyes
Progress: 28/271 pages
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Christopher Moore
Progress: 42/420 pages

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

It's a gripping world Scott Westerfeld has created, one that you can clearly see as a possible outcome of our future. I don't read many YA novels, I didn't read many YA novels when my age fell into that category, but completing Uglies after a day of marathon reading made me wish I had the next in the series sitting on my nightstand. 

The story is about a girl, Tally, and her journey to become a "Pretty." At the age of 16 everyone gets an operation to make themselves beautiful. Being on the younger end of the year, all of her school friends have already gotten the operation, leaving her pretty much alone. Until she meets Shay, who starts talking nonsense along the lines of "We are only Ugly because it's what they tell us to believe" or "I like my face, asymmetrical though it is." 

And that is all the catalyst life needs to throw Tally into a story she never wanted to be in.

Also, I got this book as a free ebook from the publishers and you can too as long as it's before September 5th 2009 (I believe thats the right date).


Originally posted on GR in Aug 2009. Guess we are a little past the deadline for a free copy... also it is interesting that this was one of the first YA books that I read. I didn't know that.

Just Finished Reactions: The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever - Julia Quinn

I read this book sometime in 2007 and just picked it up again to reintroduce me to the characters before I read the next book,What Happens in London. I love Julia Quinn, but this one is not one of my favorites due to the lack of really anything happening. I know not every book can have a virgin stealing pirate or a epic wedding stopping declaration of love, but I just felt that there could have been more. 

It is still a good book. But Quinn has better.


Originally published on GR in 2019

Just Finished Reactions: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume - Julia Quinn

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the new perspectives on a story we already knew (mainly the first half of this set The Lost Duke of Wyndham). Part of me, though, wishes it were just one big book so then the main plot wasn't old hat. But overall, I love Julia Quinn's writing and recommend her to everyone who likes to be entertained.


Originally posted on GR in December 2008

Just Finished Reactions: Secrets of a Summer Night

Secrets of a Summer Night - Lisa Kleypas

As the first book in the Wallflowers quartet, this book does a good job at giving us a little bit of information into who the characters are, but at the same time gives weight to the heroine.

The problem I had with this book is that toward the end it just kind of meandered along, with too much detail into what was going on. And it wasn't even that interesting of happenings. I feel like a good deal of editing, especially the latter parts could have made this a better book. But it was still enjoyable.


Originally posted on GR in Jan 2009

Just Finished Reactions: Another Place at the Table

Another Place at the Table - Kathy Harrison

I don't usually read nonfiction as it takes more to draw me into the story. I don't know why this is and plan to rectify this upon returning to the US and better access to novels in English.

But this book was easy for me to read. It was a compelling story about this woman's start of foster parenting. The story flowed well, and i could have kept reading about her children forever.


Originally published on GR in May 2009.

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

You know I started off liking this book. I really did. Even at 200 pages in I was still enjoying it. But then something happened and it started to lose its "magic." It's been a while since I actually read it, but I remember the feelings of "What?" and "I am pretty sure I could have conveyed the exact same feeling/thing in about 20 fewer pages" pretty well. 

I think it started near the climax. It was done acceptably well. Now lets get to the wrapping up part. What there are still 200 pages? What the hell happens there? 

One of the things I really hate when reading is a book that goes on and on after what is clearly the climax (my biggest problem with Kite Runner as well). I mean there were some interesting parts that happened after, but since this was already going to be a series, why not just move it over a book and end it with the reader feeling invigorated and not end already!

I feel like I am in the minority in the dislike. And going back to some notes I took while reading it, I was enjoying it. But I have this feeling that if I pick up the next books in the series, I will hate myself. 

So in conclusion. It was OK. Just OK. Maybe a good. An OK and a half. Will I be picking up the next books in the series? Unlikely. I feel like there are better books in the world that I can spend my time reading.


Originally published on GR in Aug 2009. Despite this review, I will be watching the new Stars series. Maybe it will hold my attention better than the books did.

Just Finished Reactions: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

I just finished it about 20 minutes ago (Hello 3:30!) and I have to say I did find it very engaging and the prospect of such a society intrigued me. I really didn't like the layout of it initially. In fact, I still didn't really like it, I just got used to it. I understand why the author chose it to be choppy and disjointed. Hell, if I were the protagonist I would be lucky to string together two words about that experience let alone a "memoir". 

Overall it was okay. I enjoyed it, I guess if "enjoy" is the right word for this type of book. But I don't really enjoy literary analysis so I feel like I may be missing something deeper with this book. 

Am I glad I read it, sure. Would I read it again? Probably not.


Originally posted on GR in March 2010. A helpful comment on my review from Lizzie is copied below:

I felt the same way! I think this would have been a perfect read for a college English class, because there was something I was missing that I knew I wouldn't pick up on unless I were to take each sentence and dissect it into tiny bits and pieces. Which, in my opinion, takes the fun out of reading unless you're an English major/teacher/literary fanatic, and I am none of these. 



Review: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

The Outsider's is a classic coming of age tale. I read this as a 7th grader and was enthralled. I loved everyone from Ponyboy to Dally. I wanted Sodapop to be my brother (or maybe my boyfriend... I was a seventh grade girl). 

I remember loving this book so much that later I got the book out from the library and read the entire thing out loud to my younger sister, who also really enjoyed it. 

Now at twenty something, I reread it, hoping to feel that magic again. But it didn't happen for me. I found myself reading it more as a look back into a time where they used words like "tuff" and "heaters" (in a side note though, when i read that in 7th grade I thought they were literally talking about heaters. You know, the small portable kind). 

Why was I not captivated again? Did I love it because I was in love with the '50s decade? Did I relate to it more as a preteen? Probably both. I enjoyed it this time, but i enjoy the memory of it more. The next time I read this, if ever, it will be to someone who can show me it again through the eyes of a 12 year old.


Originally posted on GR in June 2010

Progress Post: Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Romancing Mister Bridgerton - Julia Quinn

Originally posted on GR in January 2010... and I am not quite sure what I meant... maybe I found it so hilarious, if I ever heard it I would perish from the lulz? I don't even get the first quote... guess I need to reread this one.



01/02/2010 page 279   60.65% "If ever heard, I death from lol: "This was Penelope, and this was love." and "she could feel nothing but an overwhelming sense of destiny""

Just Finished Reactions: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse - 'Stephenie Meyer'

Below are my legit reactions when reading this horrid book:


Then I kept reading.

I have never slammed a book shut and walked away fuming before. Never. 

I did it with this book three times. 

Not only was there a weak heroine who knows her mind but can't stop playing with people who love her, but Meyer took my favorite character (Jacob) and made him into practically a date rapist. Don't even get me started on imprinting. 

Do me a favor, people reading this looking for a good romantic story. Ask me about the romance novel genre. I can get you vampire. Hell, I can get you greek gods. And it comes with resolved sexual tension


Originally published on GR in June 2008. Oh, can I taste my rage. I will always remember storming off after slamming the book. Ridiculous. 

Just Finished Reactions: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation - Ray Bradbury, Tim Hamilton

"And if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore" -pg 77

During the reading, I would have given this book a three, but since after I stopped reading I ruminated over the concept for at least an hour, I had to give it a four. The concept of a world without books is truly a nightmare world for most of us who frequent this site. The way that Bradbury presents it to us makes it seem that such a society is not far off from our own. 

My new favorite question to ask readers of this book is "If you could save only one book for humanity, which would it be?"

I cannot come up with an answer :)

Just Finished Reactions: Baby Bonanza

Baby Bonanza - Maureen Child

It was free. I was in China. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, although that isn't saying much honestly.


Originally published on GR in May 2009

Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See

I added this book to my to-read list back in December 2007 shortly after joining goodreads. Now, almost four years later, I finally can say I read it. 

I don't really know why it took so long for me to read this. I live relatively close to the library, thus it is really easy to go get a book. I would see it at the top of my to read queue and think "I will get to it." On Tuesday, I was at Borders combing through what was left to see what I could find, when I saw this book. I instantly added it to my pile. 

From the first words I was engulfed in the story. This is a tale of Lily and Snow Flower. It's a tale of their lives in rural, ancient China. Foot-binding... Subservient wives... nu shu... Confucian principles... all that jazz.

There is not really much more to say than that, except one thing. I think there was a reason it took me so long to read this book. In 2007, when I added this book, my interest in China was just beginning. I had yet to go over there and experience the country. I was still in college. I would not have appreciated it the same way.

Now, I am on the precipice of my life, out of school about to start my life as a grown woman. It may be a different time and place but I felt like I could relate to Lily and Snow Flower on that level. Our worries are the same; our hopes, dreams align. It touched me more, I believe, to read this now then anytime earlier. 


Originally published on GR in Sept 2011

Just Finished Reactions: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon - Stephenie Meyer

**A small amount of spoilers below**

I liked Jacob. I really did. And I really felt bad for him for all the things Bella pulled on him in this book. I remember my eyes rolling at her reaction to the loss of her love (the pages with just month names was a little over the top). But I genuinely liked Jacob.

But with this, as well as the last, there seemed to be climax problems. (Taken from a review I wrote when I read it in 2008) "I am waiting and waiting for Bella to get trapped by Victoria and maybe have Edward hear about it and come running back to save her while the wolves protected her (speaking of, really Bella? you could NOT get that he was a werewolf.. she’s supposed to be smart..) 

And then I thought I got it when she saw the fire hair in the water. But no OMG Edward thinks your dead and we need to pull the whole Romeo and Juliet thing by going to Italy to save him. Now this one I don’t think bothered me as much as Twilight because the premise was there, but still. I just didn’t have enough time to build and adequate amount of suspense. I loved the actual sequence though but I just didn’t love it as much as I would if it had been building a bit. "


Originally published on GR in 2010, and most of the review was written on my LJ in 2008

Review: Three Nights of Sin by Anne Mallory

Three Nights of Sin - Anne Mallory

When I picked up Anne Mallory's Three Nights of Sin and read the back, I wasn't all too intrigued. I was pointed in it's direction from a reliable source though and read it anyway. I have to say that the synopsis and title are not really where the story goes. I still don't get where the 'three nights of sin' came in (because they didn't). I think a better summary would been as follows:

After her brother is thrown into jail, Marietta Winters has no one left to turn for help but mysterious Gabriel Nobel. Making a promise to fulfill three ambiguous favors in the future, she is taken into his world of mystery and intrigue. Clues are uncovered and the danger grows, within the case and within her heart. 

Something like that. 

I enjoyed this book. There were some things that gave me puzzle (nothing as much as the synopsis) but overall it was an entertaining read.


Originally published on GR in May 2009


It is time for a celebration! I have finally, FINALLY, after literally months of work, moved all 1098 of my books from Goodreads to Booklikes by hand. I reorganized my shelves to a more reasonable system for me, and damn it if I am not happy that it is finally done. Though I was a little sad the numbers didn't match up in the end. I must have added a book on BL at some point and forgotten to do the same over on GR. oh well.


Sorry for that last flood of adds. I wanted to just power through the last 80 books. You'll be seeing the final reviews from GR as they post throughout the next week or so. 


While I am talking, how fucking cool that we have a book database! I am itching so hard to get whatever librarian privileges are going to be called over here. While looking and adding the last of my books, I found so many duplicates, misspellings, missing authors, messed up book covers. All fixable things! 


The new BL design is amazing and I am so happy that we even have a book database! Baby steps are all I need. Things are moving in the right direction here, unlike GR. What the hell is up with that new Q&A box?  So annoying.


Anyway, that's all. I really should be sleeping, but I could just taste  the finish line and so I had to cross it.