Harmony Book Reviews

Archive for August 2008

Violet In Private (Violet)

The Violet series is definitely one of my favorite series this year. Each of the books were brilliantly written, with flowing prose, great characters, and a unique plot. Violet in Private, the final (as of now) installment in the series, is no different.

Violet Greenfield has finally ditched modeling to go to college. At first, everything starts out great. She has awesome roommates and is making friends with other people in her hall. But in a way, she still misses modeling. Her sassy agent, Angela, continues to call her about promoting her new campaign with Veronica, and even Veronica thinks Violet is crazy for not being in New York more.

But in between her college studies, interning at a fashion magazine, and trying to figure out what exactly is happening between her and Roger, Violet still has to wonder who exactly she is, if she’s not “Violet on the Runway” anymore.

VIP can be summed up in one word – Whoa. The first two books in the Violet series rocked but Violet in Private blew them all away. The characters grow more in this book than in the first to combined and their character development is great. Several new characters are introduced and they all add to the story (Kurt especially!). The plot, especially with the internship, definitely intrigued me more than the others, though they were spectacular too.

Honestly, if you haven’t read any of the Violet books yet, now is definitely the time to pick one up!


All About Vee

Veronica May, better known as Vee, has always been a daddy’s girl. Now Daddy is remarrying and Veronica feels replaced so she sets off to Hollywood, to follow her dreams of being an actress and to follow in her deceased mother’s footsteps.

Vee moves in with her old best friend, who had graduated early to pursue her own acting dream, and with her advice, Vee begins taking yoga, acting classes, and starts working at the local coffee shop.

Of course, not everything goes as planned. With an unexpected romance, a backstabbing best friend, and all the drama that comes with being in Hollywood, Vee begins to wonder whether or not she’ll ever make it in the acting world, especially when they’re not exactly open to plus-sized actors.

All About Vee was, to use a single word, unexpected. I didn’t realize there’d be so much depth in the novel, despite it’s length. I figured it’d be something between Gossip Girl and Secrets of my Hollywood Life but it was something so much better than that.

The characters were well-developed and relatable and the prose was well-written. You could really feel yourself being transported into the story and it was so easy to relate to Vee, as well as the other characters. The plot itself was original and not your average take on an up-and-coming actress. There was nothing about being rich or having the right look or anything you usually find in those novels. The romance was also very realistic and though it was a bit predictable, I really did enjoy it.

I would definitely recommend All About Vee to everyone, especially if you have an interest in acting, Hollywood, or just want to read something fun.

With the recent release of The Debs by Susan McBride on Tuesday, I’ve gotten together with Susan and her publicist to present with not along a signed copy of The Debs but with a Debs-In-Training package!

The package includes a mini-tiara, tattoos, fake money, and the cutest fashion duck. It’s definitely a package you will NOT want to miss out on 🙂

So to enter, either leave a comment here with your email included as part of the comment (you’ll be disqualified if you don’t) or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, shoot me an email at harmonybookreviews@yahoo.com with the subject as “DEBS CONTEST”.

This ends at 12:00 A.M. on September 10th so be sure to get those entries in ASAP!

There’s lots of controversy over American Teen, which opened last Friday. I saw it with a friend who really didn’t like it, mostly because he felt it was staged and manipulative, ideas which are widely being discussed, like in this LA Times story.

The thing is, I did like it! I guess I watched it partly as if I were watching fiction. The line is so blurred now (ahem, The Hills) that I’m not sure I ever buy into really watching “reality.” I met the cast after the showing, and they were awesome people.

They’re spinning it as a real “Breakfast Club,” which didn’t really hold water for me, though the people in it were labeled in a similar way to the classic brain, athlete, basket case, princess or criminal. I loved Jake, as I’ve blogged about, because despite his social awkwardness, he seemed so utterly true to himself and so determined to find his way in a world that consistently ignored or insulted him. And I also had a really strong affinity for Hannah, pictured above, who now lives in Brooklyn (Hannah, email me. Seriously.) She’s the classic Young Adult book heroine–a beautiful, artsy girl trying to escape a small-town existence, with stupid boyfriends who don’t appreciate her and provincial parents who can’t imagine her leaving.

I would love to hear what everybody thinks: Do you plan to see it? If you saw it, what did you think?

PS-Leave a comment here to win the “Team Jake” button. And yes, that is totally the button that he gave me from his very own hoodie when I asked him where I could get one. Chivalry is not dead, people!

PPS-Yes, Mitch really is that hot. It’s kind of breathtaking.


The Debs


The Debs in told in alternating chapters of Laura Bell, Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie, Ginger Fore, and Jo-Lynn Bidwill, all of whom are expecting to become Glass Slipper Club Debutantes. Laura Bell may be a size fourteen but that has never stopped her from getting the hottest guys in the school and with her family’s past in the Glass Slipper Club, she’s practically guaranteed a spot. Mac, on the other hand, couldn’t really care less about being a debutante but since it just happened to be her late mother’s dream and how could she really give that up? Ginger changes the causes she stands for often and with going green being the latest cause, she’d much rather wear her grandma’s gown instead of an expensive new one. Jo-Lynn is a former beauty queen with a powerful mother. There’s no way she’s not going to become a debutante.
While becoming debs may be the only thing on the girls’ minds at the beginning of the novel, it is in no way the only thing this book is about. It’s not only filled with the usual rich girl drama but also with painstaking break-ups, lying and cheating boys, the strength of true friendship, and the lure of the older guys which makes The Debs a much stronger book than you might expect. The characters are well-developed and despite their rich-ness, they act like people you could be friends with. The plot is also strong and always keep you wanting more. The ending is great and though it definitely leaves room for the upcoming sequels, it also ties everything up nicely.


Though I had no clue what a debutante was when I started this, I loved it. It was definitely a fun read and I look forward to reading future novels in the series.

It’s that time of the month again… The AOM contest time!

This month, leave a comment to win a copy of Melissa Walker’s newest release, Violet in Private!

When leaving a comment make sure to INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL IN THE COMMENT. If you don’t, you will be disqualified. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can also send me an email at harmonybookreviews@yahoo.com with the subject “VIP contest”.


Good luck! A random commenter will be chosen on Sept. 10th!

Chelsea, from The Page Flipper, was one of the very first reviewers I ever contacted. To this day, she’s still one of the first reviewers I email when I have a question about anything and she’s usually the first to answer. Besides being an awesome friend, she’s a great reviewer. She recently went from having a blog to having a website and even though she took a hiatus, she’s back and still as reviewer-awesome as always. Lucky for us, she’s agreed to do a guest blog.


Hi everybody! Chelsea here, from thepageflipper.com. Thanks, Harmony, for having me to guest blog.

I decided to talk about characters today. Because, to me, characters are what make a book. The plot is obviously important, but if you don’t have good, original characters to act it out, it really doesn’t matter what goes on.

One of my favorite characters is Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. Aside from being an intelligent, funny, and lovable father, he’s one of the bravest characters I’ve ever read about. He fights for what he believes in, no matter the consequences. And what he believed in was justice.

Another favorite character is Jacky from the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. If you haven’t read them, you honestly need to. She’s adventurous, smart, daring, and bold. Honestly, I wish I could be more like her. In a time where girls were expected to be civil ladies, Jacky took a different route and did what she wanted, simply being herself.

And I can’t not mention Chloe from Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde. She was so childlike, but you could tell she had an intense wisdom and kindness about her, despite everything bad she’s seen in the world.

Alaska from Looking for Alaska by John Green is another one that shines out of the pages. She loved books and laughing and danger. Most of her was a mystery, but it was a type of mystery that made her all the more intriguing.

What are some of your favorite characters?

Well, everyone, there ya have it. Leave a comment telling us who YOUR favorite characters are, along with your email address and one random commenter will recieve an envelope full of assorted bookmarks and other small promotional items from authors!

I am so sorry for not posting this sooner. I was actually gone while it ended and then I had band camp and…well, let’s just say that this is my first chance to actually sit down and pick winners.

Anyway, since I know you’re all waiting anxiously to find out who won…

The winners of The ELITE contest are…. Ian McNamara and Sof Montaudon!

The winner of the UNDONE contest is…. The Book Muncher!

Ian, Sof, and The Book Muncher – you have until Sunday, August 17th, to contact me with your address or new winners will be posted.

Congrats to you three and thanks to everyone else for entering. There will be new contests coming up soon!


Band Geek Love


 All band, all the time. That’s how trumpet goddess Ellie Snow has made it to senior year. No drama, no dating. Just keeping lock-step within the safe precision of the Winslow Marching Band. She’s a fierce section leader now, and so over the heart-crushing social disaster of her freshman year. No boy is going to ruin Ellie’s shining moment—her senior solo performance at the homecoming game.

And then Connor Higgins shows up. Not even Ellie can resist the trumpet player who could be a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. It’s a hook-up made in band-geek heaven! But Ellie’s not ready to publicize their romance, not even to her best friends. After all, Connor’s just a sophomore. What would everyone say? Breaking formation and revealing her true self would be like . . . marching on the field completely naked!

Then Ellie discovers the flipside of secrets and how it feels to be shut out by the ones she loves.

(Summary taken from website)

Band Geek Love is a fun, quirky, summer read that everyone, whether they’re a band geek or not, will enjoy. The characters are easy to relate to and very entertaining. The only complaint I have is that while the plot moved forward quickly, it seemed that more time was spent on the smaller, less important events, instead of the big ones that held the plot together. Other than that, the plot will keep you surprised and entertained.

Band Geek or not, I recommend picking this up today!


Violet by Design (Violet)

I was going to get out of the modeling business for good.

But now I’m having trouble sticking with my decision. After all, if it wasn’t for modeling, I might still be the invisible wallflower. Hot guys like Paulo wouldn’t be interested in me. And I’d never have seen Brazil or Spain-and now France! On the other hand…

I also wouldn’t have to choose between my best friend from home and my agent’s shrill demands. Or anguish over my body the way only runway models do. Not to mention all this trouble I’m getting into for speaking out in the press about eating disorders.

Maybe the life of an international model isn’t for me. But if I quit for good, I might always wonder…What if?

(Summary from Amazon)

I loved the first book in the series, Violet on the Runway, and this second addition to the series will not let you down. The characters, Violet especially, were just as down-to-earth as they were in the previous book and I could still relate to them, even though they’ve all changed a bit. The flawless prose keeps you intrigued in the story and you’ll probably have a hard time putting it down.

My favorite thing about these books continues to be the raw honesty that Walker uses when describing the events happening behind the curtain of the modeling industry. Many people seem to be under the impression the models live the perfect life but that’s not true at all. Melissa Walker only brings truth to that.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, I suggest picking it up, along with this sequel. You won’t be disappointed! 

  • Megan: Just read LAST CHRISTMAS. I would SOOO reccomend it to people who havent even read the private series. It is soo good.The suspense was kiling me all t
  • Lola: Oh my gosh! i just finished it....i googled the song for i had never herd it before......may have been a mistake because it is in my head for taciturn
  • mais: heeeyyyy.... can anyonePLEASE give me the link or even send me the copy of the eighth book(revelation on my email because i cant find it anywhere for