Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Round-Up

How is it even possible that tomorrow is the start of August??? Where did the Summer go? We only have 17 more days before my son starts 7th grade! I will finish up the Summer Reading Program at my first, and there were lots of lessons learned. I also read some great books! Here they are:

Book of Love (Knight Angels, #1) by Abra Ebner

Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Intertwined by Gena Showalter
Spells (Wings, #2) by Aprilynne Pike
Betrayal (Immortal #2) by Gillian Shields
Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane
Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods #5) by Melissa de la Cruz

Glow (Sky Chasers, #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Wanderlust (The Cordelia Chronicles #2) by Heather C Hudak
The Fallen: Demon (The Fallen #2) by Kristina Douglas
Raziel (The Fallen #1) by Kristina Douglas
Hourglass (Hourglass #1) by Myra McEntire

Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Requiem (Providence #2) by Jamie McGuire
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1) by Rae Carson
Providence (Providence #1) by Jamie McGuire

The Fallen (Nine Lives of Chloe King, #1) by Celia Thomson
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

Saturday, July 30, 2011


A fellow blogger friend is having a really cool giveaway. Go follow her and enter her contest click the button below.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Betrayal

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Evie returns to Wyldcliffe following winter break, anxious to reconnect with Sarah and Helen. She’s surrounded by teachers that are “Dark Sisters” and she’s worried that if she doesn’t figure out how to release the powers from her talisman using the Mystic Way she will lose Sebastian forever to the dark side.

I’m sorry but I was totally “meh” over this book. I couldn’t get it over with fast enough. Evie continually whined about possibly losing Sebastian. She was absolutely SURE she figured out how to release the powers about a half dozen times and was wrong…it was kind of like watching “House”. You know he is going to make 3 possibly deadly mis-diagnoses before he finally hits on the right one and saves the day. Add to that the perfectly normal human guy who is falling for her that she is oblivious to…but that her BFF Sarah has been longing for forever.

Meanwhile Sebastian is holed up somewhere, fading, writing to Evie hoping, in one breath, that she hasn’t forgotten about him, then in the next breath wishing she would forget about him and find someone and live a normal life. UGH way too much angst for me.

Personally, I am done with this series.

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Review: Children of Paranoia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Children of Paranoia” starts off with a stalking and a murder…which in itself is not unusual. I thought this murder would be the basis for the story. I was wrong! It was just the tip of a very large iceberg.

Joe is the murderer above, actually “trained assassin” would be a better title. Joe is a foot soldier in a war none of us know even exists. There are 3 rules of engagement for this war. 1) No killing of innocents. An innocent would be you or I who have no knowledge of this war. 2) No killing anyone under the age of 18. The children of those at war get a “free pass” until they turn 18 then all bets are off. 3) Give birth before 18 and your off-spring get turned over to the other side and thus become your enemy. Ouch! If that isn’t a good reason for birth control, I don’t know what is.

This was a riveting story told from Joe’s point of view. He’s actually writing his story in a journal for someone named Maria…who won’t become known to us for quite a while. Joe is sucked into this war, against an unnamed group, because they are responsible for killing virtually his whole family. We don’t know what started the war, or when. But if there are rules, than you can guess a few, if not all, are going to be broken. And if rules are broken, you might as well paint a big red bull’s eye on your back.

This was not my usual type of read…something about the blurb on Net Galley grabbed my attention, much like the rest of the book did. I was dying to find out what was going to happen to Joe, and was hoping we, the reader, would get some insight as to what prompted this war. It wasn’t until I finished the book that I found out this is just the first of a planned trilogy. The ending of Paranoia made it clear there would definitely be a second book at the very least.

The story was a roller coaster ride. I mean Joe is an assassin so there is some graphic violence, but then add to that the fact that you don’t know if the person standing next to you is friend or foe…hence the need for a healthy dose of paranoia which could keep you alive.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Glow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Won a copy of "Glow" through FirstReads on!!

The story centers around Kieran and Waverly, the leaders of the first generation to be born out in space. They are on the ship Empyrean. One of two ships bound for New Earth. New Horizon left 43 years ago with mostly a christian contingent. Empyrean left a year later with a mostly secular group. Now New Horizon is hiding in a nebula, waiting to ambush Empyrean. But what could cause one ship to attack it’s sister ship?

This was a riveting story that I started and finished today...just couldn't put it down! The story is fast-paced with tons going on…especially on Empyrean where life is becoming a battle for survival. There were times I just had to put the book down and walk away for a breath of fresh air and hope my beating heart would return to it’s normal rhythm again.

The narrative shifts telling the story from both character's point of view which adds so much to this story because the author handles it beautifully. Ms. Ryan breaks the story up into parts where several chapters are told from the same character’s perspective. This added to the impossibility of actually putting the book down!

I loved all the delicious irony running through the story. The storyline twists and turns right up to the very last page. Parts of the book reminded me of “Lord of the Flies” while other parts reminded me of “Mockingjay”…political intrigue with the added twist of religious dogma…add to that the inability to tell the good guys from the bad guys…or are they all shades of grey? I guess it depends on your perspective.

I’m telling you…YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! And where will Amy Ryan take the story from here?? Oh…lots of questions!!!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Wanderlust

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Wanderlust” picks up right where “Breathless” stops. In fact it overlaps a few pages. We pick up with Addie, Lia, and Eli at the airport heading for Europe. A trip Lia and Addie planned prior to Lia meeting and falling in love with Chaysen. However the trip comes at a prime time when Lia needs some time away to decide if she wants to pursue a relationship with Chaysen and all that comes with him…or settle for a “normal” existence. Chaysen has enlisted Eli to go with the girls and protect them should Alexei still be stalking Lia.

I picked up “Wanderlust” thinking it was a different series. Once again it was an OK read….fast. Lots of traipsing across Europe and running into people from Chaysen’s past which made for lots of discomfort for Lia…especially running into a past love.

It still really reminded me of the “Twilight” series. I can’t think of anything new or interesting to say in this review that hasn’t already been said about Bella and Edward. Lia is as self-centered and whiny as most 17 year old protagonists. Chaysen is magnanimous and humors her childishness due to the maturity and experience that comes with living for centuries, yada, yada, yada.

I think more than anything I enjoyed it for the twist ending. I will be picking up the next book in the series to see what happens.

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Review: The Fallen: Demon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Azazel is another fallen archangel. He is chasing the Demon Lilith. It’s been prophesied that he and Lilith will fall in love and rule over Hell. Azazel has left the Fallen to kill Lilith to prevent the prophecy from fulfilling.
I liked this storyline much more than the one in “Raziel”. However, the pacing was still way to slow! Still really don’t care about the characters or what happens to them. If I gave “Raziel” 3 stars out of 5, I would give “Demon” maybe 3 ½ stars. I don’t think I will be spending any more time on this series.

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Review: Raziel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Raziel is a fallen archangel…actually, he is the 3rd fallen archangel. Behind Lucifer and Azazel. A vengeful God cursed them to life on Earth as “Blood Eaters” for falling in love with humans and daring to questioning Him. When God gave humans free will, He washed his hands of them and put one of his remaining archangels, Uriel, in charge.

One of the duties of the fallen archangels is to escort newly dispossessed spirits to their final reward. Raziel is tasked with escorting Allie Watson. Only when they arrive at the gates, Hell is her desination. In reaction Raziel pulls her back from the brink…and then has to figure out what to do with her.

This book was OK. I didn’t have a particularily strong reaction to any of the characters or the challenges they encountered. The mythology behind the archangels/”blood drinkers” and the nephilim/”flesh eaters” was different…but the conflicts weren’t. The sex scenes were good but too few and not romantic. The story moved very slowly and frankly, I almost gave up. Lots of background story involved, I assume to set-up for future books which is what slowed the pace down so much.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Hourglass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Emerson sees dead people. It all started a couple of months before both her parents passed away. Between the loss of her parents and the whole being haunted he lost it and spent some time committed.

It’s the eve of Emerson’s senior year in high school and she’s back living with her brother and sister-in-law in Tennessee. In an effort to help Emerson, her brother has hired yet another person to “help” her get over her affliction. Enter Michael, gorgeous Roman God-like, Michael.

It turns out that Emerson isn’t seeing dead people so much as scenes from the past…and Michael can see them too. Michael works for Hourglass and they research abilities like Emerson’s…and Emerson may be the key to solving a puzzle.

I read some reviews after I finished “Hourglass” and readers either loved it or hated it. Most complaints centered around how Emerson obsessed over Michaels looks…and she did…but it didn’t bother me enough to really notice it. Emerson is a 17 year old girl, and I recall being pretty boy crazy at that time too. Emerson is strong and a bit hardened, with a brown belt, and could take care of herself, but yet could still be vulnerable, if only with Michael. I also loved Michael’s best friend, Kaleb. He struck me as the stereotypical young adult male, fearless and invincible, with a heart that would do anything for his friends/family…and he was sarcastic and witty to boot. LOVED HIM!

I enjoyed McEntire’s writing very much. She had me crying, laughing, and genuinely caring what happened to these characters. I’m looking forward to the next volume and am hoping for a whole lot more Kaleb!!! Yep, might have to make my own “Team Kaleb” t-shirt. LOL

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Review: Ditched: A Love Story

My rating:
4 of 5 stars

The Prom – Every girl has strong feelings about the prom. What to wear, who to go with, etc. Justine probably wasn’t all that interested in Prom until her best friend Ian asked her to go with him. But every possible thing that could possibly go wrong, went wrong, in such heinous ways. Most notably, was the fact that Ian ditched her at the prom to go do a favor for someone…um, HELLO????

I loved this “Comedy of Errors”. I laughed out loud throughout the whole book! I adored the way the story was revealed in the rehashing of the previous nights events told to two complete strangers, that combined with Justine’s prom dress as a visual aid in the retelling.

There wasn’t a ton of character development, but the story more than made up for it. Such an enjoyable, quick, snarky read…talk about a guilty pleasure!!!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: A Beautiful Dark

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was fortunate to be able to preview this title via

Skye’s parents died on her 6th birthday. So birthday’s aren’t Skye’s favorite day. On the evening of her 17th birthday, two boys, cousins, enter her life. Blond, blue-eyed, very reserved Devin and brooding, dark-haired, dark-eyed Asher…they are polar opposites and they are on Skye like “white on rice”. Along with these two strangers start a series of very strange events. Skye isn’t sure what is going on and who to believe.

I had such high hopes for this story but it fell far short of my expectations. The story developed very slowly which I found frustrating. The characters lacked any depth and I had no feelings for them in any way. Then once the story really started to take off and the reader was finally going to get some answers other than the pat “it’s complicated” we’ve heard up till then, the story ended. Talk about frustrating. I’m assuming a sequel is in the works but I don’t need to know what happens bad enough to spend time reading it.

The only part I did like was the new mythology the author created about the supernatural beings. That mythology provided so much potential, but the story just didn’t deliver.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was fortunate to be able to preview this book via

Elisa was born a princess and at her naming ceremony God saw fit to bestow the Godstone into her navel. The Godstone is only given once every 100 years and with it the knowledge that the bearer will be used in service to the greater good.

On her 16th birthday, Elisa becomes the secret wife of a handsome neighboring king whose country is in turmoil. Before Elisa is revealed as the future queen she is kidnapped by rebels who have discovered she is the bearer of the Godstone.

Could Elisa be the country’s savior? Can she be everything that everyone needs her to be?

I LOVED this story. Elisa starts out so young and soft, but she grows, matures, and unfortunately is forced to harden, so much over the course of the story, which I believe is less than a year. I love that she is more knowledgeable about the art of War than her husband, the King. For someone so young she seems so worldly, but she knows there is still so much to learn. She is thoughtful, observant, and isn’t afraid to ask questions.

The other female characters are incredibly smart and strong. Elisa is supported by her nurse Ximena, who is her guardian and will kill anyone to keep Elisa safe, but is also the mother figure in her life, since Elisa’s mother died in childbirth. Cosme, as one of the leaders of the rebels, is a force to be reckoned with, whip smart, strong, agile, and devious, my kind of gal! Such smart, skillful women made reading this story an absolute joy!

The ending of this story could have gone so terribly wrong, but I should have known the author would take care of us readers.

When I finished “The Girl of Fire and Thorns”, I was so hopeful that the author, Rae Carson, would be revisiting these characters again. I would so love to see how Elisa would raise Rosario. And I couldn’t help but think there may be some sexual tension going on between Elisa and Hector. Oh so many wonderful ways that this story could continue. GoodReads indicates that this is the first book of a series so now the waiting game starts…patience is a virtue I really wish I had more of!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Requiem

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

“Requiem” picks up right where “Providence” leaves off.

Nina and Jared are together and having dealt with the challenges left behind by her father following her death. Nina and Jared discover she is part of a prophecy that could upset the delicate balance between Heaven and Hell. The question becomes how to protect Nina and still run her Dad’s company and plan her wedding to Jared.

Very surprisingly I thought this sequel was better than “Providence”…not something I find happening very often, for sure.

Requiem still has all the mystery, romance, action and adventure of “Providence”, but the characters have grown so much since the last book. My only complaint would be that Nina is a bit “slow” in this book…it could be all the sleep-deprivation she is experiencing. There were times when the answer to a question was quite obvious, but Nina just couldn’t or wouldn’t grasp it.

Can’t wait for the next installment!

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Review: Providence

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nina meets Jared Ryel the evening following her father’s funeral. They both missed the last bus of the night and decide to share a cab back to Brown University. This is the beginning of several seemingly coincidental run-ins around Brown.

While Nina and Jared seem to click on every level, he pushes her away whenever they seem to be on the verge of progressing beyond friendship. She wonders why and finally finds out that he was hired by her father, before he death, to serve as her bodyguard.

But why would a 17 year old college freshman need a bodyguard?? Well, that’s where things start to get really interesting.

First of all I have to say that I love the setting of this book. I’ve been fortunate to spend time in Providence as well as a little time on the Brown campus. Talk about beautiful! I think I probably bought this book simply for it’s setting…but I read it for Jamie’s writing style.

Jamie McGuire sucked me in quicker than I could say “wait a sec”. Although the beginning of the story is heart-wrenching for the loss of Nina’s Dad, McGuire still manages to pique your interest by the quick introduction of Jared.

This story has a lot going on…romance, love triangle, mystery, intrigue, a bit of supernatural and it’s written in a way I found incredibly hard to put down! Hence the set of Samonite luggage taking up residence under each eye.

The characters are well developed and the many sub-plots enhance rather than detract from the story. I was excited to download the sequel, “Requiem” to see where McGuire would go next.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: The Fallen

The Fallen (Nine Lives of Chloe King #1)The Fallen by Celia Thomson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chloe King is turning 16 and wants to spend the day with her two best friends at the tallest building in San Francisco, rather than in school. But when Chloe falls from the building and lives to tell about it, well, things get really strange. Suddenly Chloe can run faster, senses are heightened, and inhibitions are let down, and strangers are trying to kill her.

The new ABC Family series is what prompted me to download a sample for my kindle. After reading it my curiosity was piqued so I downloaded all three books.

The lead up to Chloe’s fall read fast, but the time following the fall moved very slowly. We never really do find out who or what Chloe is. We know there is some group after her that wants her dead and that there is someone else out in her town who is like her in terms of the changes she went through post-fall…but I have to say that I was I was let down because we didn’t really find out all the answers. I’m assuming they are in the next book, “Stolen”… It reminded me of when the Soap Operas would leave some huge cliffhanger on Fridays and then didn’t really get around to resolving it until Wednesday or Thursday of the following week…and sometimes, it became another cliffhanger that Friday…I hated that!

I think that is why I didn’t immediately dive into “Stolen” after finishing “Fallen”. I probably won’t check out the TV Show either…”Hollywood License” and the changes they make to the story will probably irritate me, not to mention the possible cliffhangers…LOL!

Overall, the story was OK…I will read the other 2 books to see where the story goes, but they aren’t at the top of my “to read” list. I will get around to them eventually.

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Review: The Borrower

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lucy Hull is a Children’s Librarian. Ian Drake is a very precocious 10 year old, and Lucy’s favorite patron. Ian’s mother is a very strict, conservative, Christian who puts a lot of limits on what Ian can and cannot read (no Harry Potter, occult, witchcraft, wizards, homosexuality, fantasy, etc.). One day, quite by accident, Lucy discovers that Ian’s parents are sending him to a weekly “camp” with a minister who is “famous” for his seminars and classes to change people from homo- to heterosexual. When Lucy inadvertently kidnaps Ian, or is it that Ian Librarian-naps Lucy, they are in for an epic road trip from Missouri to Vermont with lots of interesting stops and characters along the way.

This book had me laughing, uproariously, at times. Probably because I am a librarian as well. For example, Lucy and her co-worker, Rocky, go out for coffee frequently and turn just about everything into a Dr. Suess book with hysterical results. Also Lucy makes some great lists that are usually a spoof of a children’s book. Case in point, “If you give a Librarian a Closet”.

I loved the dynamics of Lucy and Ian’s friendship. Ian’s unwitting sarcasm and aptitude at lying to keep he and Lucy out of trouble was great.

Ian reminds Lucy of a friend she had growing up and she feels the need to protect him. Ian loves that Lucy will conspire with him to check out whatever books he wants. They care deeply for one another, unconditionally. This built on their shared love of books and reading and Lucy would do just about anything to get Ian away from his folks and Pastor Bob. I also loved how Makkai interweaves the storylines of famous children’s books throughout. It was a fun, fast read.

Parts of the story did drag a bit, especially when Lucy’s boyfriend was on the scene…but he provided necessary tension. But that would be my only complaint.

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