Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Temptation: A Novel

Temptation: A Novel
Temptation: A Novel by Travis Thrasher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

AARRGGHH!!! I hate you Travis Thrasher!!!! Not really, but now I have to wait! I’m not a patient person and you are forcing me to wait! I HATE waiting!!!!! With the number of trilogies flooding the market, I assumed that this, the third book in the Solitary Series, would be the end of it…but it wasn’t. I feel like I am being led on! Now I know how Kelsey felt in Gravestone!

OK, so in this third, and not final installment of the Solitary Series, Chris is in Summer School and crushing on Lily, a new girl to Solitary. She seems just as into Chris as he is into her…but she wants to take is slow. Painfully slow as far as Chris is concerned.

Chris is still a lost soul. But he decides to put all the craziness behind him and kind of ignore it and see if it goes away. While that works for a while, ultimately he gets hit from beyond left field and is forced to deal when his Mom almost kills herself accidently and Lily starts to get threatened. And the evil that permeates Solitary is none other than one of Chris’s ancestors. We are only partially clearer on what he does and how Staunch and the Pastor are involved.

Not quite as many twists and turns in Temptation but all the suspense and desire to see what happens next remain. Chris’ Dad appears and we learn a little more about him…but not enough to satisfy my curiousity. The spiritual side of this story is more prevalent here as we are building up to the final showdown…and Thrasher is the King of Cliffhangers! I devoured Temptation in one sitting and am still hungry for more…but alas I have to wait. Did I mention I HATE WAITING???? Yea, I thought so. Hurry up Thrasher…I still have questions that need answering!

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Review: The Invitation

The Invitation
The Invitation by Diane Hoh

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Five not-so-popular teens are invited to an annual party given by snooty Cass. Ushered into the mansion, they are soon part of a human scavenger hunt in which they are tied, bound, and hidden. Further victimization includes being heated in a sauna, cooled in a freezer, and nearly asphyxiated by a car's running motor.

My Thoughts: This kind of reminded me of the Lois Duncan fare I grew up on. I read the first 4 or 5 chapters and was pretty accurately able to predict what was going to happen.

The mean girls were very predictable and stereotypical. The outcast girls were equally predictable, although one did seem to fade into the background by the end. And what was the deal with Leslie? I think Cass was much scarier!

Overall the story seemed pretty flat to me, as did the characters. I would have liked a little more insight into their backstories.

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Review: Gil Marsh

Gil Marsh
Gil Marsh by A.C.E. Bauer

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Good looking, athletic, and smart, Gill Marsh is the most popular kid at Uruk High School, even though he is only a junior. When Enko, a new kid from Montreal, shows up, Gil is wary. Yet Enko is easy going and matches Gil's athletic prowess without being a threat. Soon, the two become inseparable friends, practicing, studying, and double-dating.

Then suddenly, to everyone's shock, Enko succombs to an aggressive cancer.

When Enko's parents take his body and return to Canada, Gil is unable to even say good bye. He is inconsolable. Determined to find Enko's grave, Gil sneaks away and heads north.

Closely based on the ancient story of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian King from 3000 BC, A. C. E. Bauer has carefully woven the classic elements of myth to follow Gil's quest and explore the grief and growth of a young man.

My Thoughts: This story read really fast. But the writing style felt more rough draft rather than a fully fleshed out final copy. There was very little description…which felt off. The characters were all flat and one dimensional, as did the story. I found it hard to finish. Gil would get so distracted from his original mission that the whole journey seemed totally pointless. The story had so much potential, but it was so “all over the place” all I wanted to do was finish it and forget it.

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Review: Lover Mine

Lover Mine
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown. Taken in by The Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was-or his true identity.

Xhex has long steeled herself against the attraction to John Matthew. Until fate intervenes and she discovers that love, like destiny, is inevitable.

My Thoughts: This story was closer to those books that started the series, but not close enough. Although I did really enjoy getting to know Darius and Thorment back when they first met in the 1600s. The “Lash the ForeLesser” storyline came to a conclusion, which was great as far as I was concerned because I’m not reading this series for the for the War. Lastly, I enjoyed getting to see what made Xhex tick…she had been an enigma up until this installment. And I’ve always been a John Michael fan.

This series has changed so much from it’s beginnings…and I miss the old Black Dagger Brotherhood. But I will continue to read it because I still love the Brothers.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Predestined (Existence #2)

Predestined by Abbi Glines

published 3 April 2012

Goodreads synopsis:

You would think after helping save her boyfriend from an eternity in Hell that things would go back to normal. Well, as normal as life can be when you can see souls and your boyfriend is Death. But for Pagan Moore, things are just getting weirder.

The high school quarterback and reigning heartthrob, Leif Montgomery, is missing. While the town is in a frenzy of worry, Pagan is a nervous wreck for other reasons. Apparently good ‘ol Leif isn’t your average teenage boy. He isn’t even human. According to Death, Leif doesn’t have a soul. The quarterback may have skipped town but he’s still showing up in Pagan’s dreams... uninvited.

Dank has known from the beginning Leif wasn’t human. But he hadn’t worried about a simple soulless creature. Now, he realizes he made a grave mistake. Pagan’s soul has been marked since birth as a restitution, to a spirit so dark not even Death walks near it. Dank knows saving Pagan’s soul won’t be easy but Pagan is his. And he’s already proven he’ll defy Heaven to keep her. If Hell wants a piece of him too, then bring it on.

My Review:

The story continues! Leif is still missing...but not really. Since he is soulless nobody really forms a bond with him and he is quickly forgotten. However, Pagan and Dank know he is still around and causing problems for them. You see Leif keeps showing up in Pagan's dreams. She starts to remember times in her life that he was always around helping her, comforting her or protecting her. His daddy is the Voodoo lord of the dead who has claimed Pagan's soul for Leif and Leif is ready to claim her. Of course Dank is DEATH and Pagan is his love and NO ONE is taking her away. It quickly becomes a testosterone-fest over who will 'claim' Pagan as their own. Let me just say, Dank starts to get angry and when Pagan is taken from him....oh boy does he pull out his ass kickin' boots!

Pagan truly is a kind soul. I totally see why she is able to charm Death! Even during some stressful situations she manages to put her friends and family before herself and her heart. She makes some true sacrifices to set things right and cause less harm to those she loves. It really is admirable.

I liked the little peeks we get into Dank's job as Death. How he deals with his job of meeting souls as they leave their hosts. He is respectful and concerned for the soul and those they leave behind. I like how he is upset by tragedy, carelessness and war. He remembers souls he has met before and even a soulmate who has moved on 50 years prior. He is a character of great depth and I feel we really get to know him in Predestined.

Gee. Is. Hilarious! She is one of the transporters who usher souls to the Creator after Dank pulls them from their host bodies. I like that we are getting to see her interact with Dankmar (as she loves to call him) and Pagan. She is a riot to have around and I love how she dresses and acts. She is true to herself and doesn't care what people around her think. Very strong indeed.

Abbi manages to rip our heart out at least once in this book. She doesn't just rip to out, she stomps on it a bit! There will be the tissue grabbing moment that we don't see coming BUT (and this is a big BUT...heehee) it is what gives the ending of the book a nice surprise and so much potential for the third and final book Ceaseless.

Predestined was everything I expected it to be. Abbi Glines always writes fascinating books that keep me enthralled from beginning to end. 4.5 STARS!! A big thank you to the author, Abbi Glines, for the ARC of Predestined!!

Review: Shane and Trey

Shane and Trey by Anyta Sunday

published 22 January 2012

Shane sort of outs himself as being gay during a moment of summer fun at the pool. His twin sister is supportive, her boyfriend looks repulsed and his best friend leaves...forever. The next thing he knows, Shane is going to room with Trey, his sister's boyfriend, in the college dorm. He is attracted to yet afraid of Trey. There was an incident a few years prior that involved Trey and Shane and has always been humiliating and hurtful to Shane. To say he is uncomfortable with the living arrangement would be an understatement. Shane finds his attraction becoming stronger towards Trey and is definitely getting mixed signals from Trey himself.

There is a slow build to a relationship between Shane and Trey. They are mindful of the people around them as they start to pursue their relationship...namely Shane's sister and Trey's former girlfriend June. Once they start to come together, their relationship is very intense and sweet...everything we'd expect in first/young love. Their relationship just flows beautifully and pulls the reader into their story.

Anyta Sunday does a great job portraying family dysfunction in three family sets. All have issues and struggles, some minor some major. They all have fears and insecurities but also support. I also like that she addresses a serious issue of HIV/AIDS with one secondary character. That this is an issue that some young adults have to face in our society and it should not to hushed or a blind eye turned.

I found all the characters to be likable and endearing which doesn't always happen. Even some of the secondary characters became favorites, like Sydney and Lucas.

Give indie authors a chance, you could be missing out on a really good read if you wait for the publishers to decide everything for you. 4STARS!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Double by Jenny Valentine

published on 21 February 2012

published by Hyperion Books for Children

Goodreads synopsis:

When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel's identity, gaining the family and friends he's always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn't as easy as he hoped--and Chap isn't the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel's disappearance, Chap realizes that he's in much deeper danger than he could have imagined.

After all, you can't just steal a life and expect to get away with it.

Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen's chance at redemption.

My Review:

From start to finish this book is just one tragedy after another. Chap is on the run. He has been on the streets fending for himself for quite awhile. We just get little bits and pieces at a time of who he is, what his life was/has been like. When he is taken in and identified as Cassiel Roadnight he starts down a path that he can never turn back from.

Each little flashback, into Chap's life gives us the pieces to the bigger picture and the final blow of the book. It really is a mystery that we are slowly piecing together, Who is Chap? Where did he come from? What happened to Cassiel? Is he still out there or is he dead? If he is dead how, who? These are all questions that have us reeling toward as we progress through the story.

It is impossible to write a spoiler free review if I go into details of what I liked and the characters. So I will just say, if you are up for a book that has twists and turns and makes your belly quiver in suspense....this is the book for you! We are kept at a bit of a distance from all the characters but I think that makes it all the more detectives looking in. 4STARS!

Review: Rock Hard

Rock Hard
Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: An ultimatum can break your heart....
Every night lead singer, Sed Lionheart whips thousands of women into a frenzy with his voice alone. But the stage is the only place Sed feels any passion since he lost Jessica...

If you’re not willing to break all the rules...
It shattered her heart, but law student Jessica broke off her engagement to Sed, determined to be successful on her own terms. But no other man can ever hold a candle to Sed...

Then a chance meeting and tortuously close quarters lead to uncontrollable flares of passion and rediscovery of their unique penchant for public encounters. Now, in addition to the risk of mutual heartbreak every time they get together, they’re in danger of truly scandalous public exposure.

My Thoughts: This is a very Adult series…not for anyone under 18!

This is the second in the 5 projected Sinner’s books. This time we get to know Sedrick, the lead singer. He’s an alpha male who feels he needs to protect everyone he cares about. Which also explains why he would seduce and sleep with all of Brian’s previous girlfriends. Meanwhile, Jessica is a very strong willed and stubborn young lady who doesn’t need anyone protecting her because she can take care of herself and has been doing it for years. The Brian/Myrna storyline also runs in the background of this story, which I appreciated. I hate when sequels don’t give an update on the previous storyline. We readers become so invested in the story and we would still like to know what is going on with previous characters.

I continue to love all the guys of “Sinners” and even have a little more love for Sed after reading his story. He wasn’t my favorite after reading Brian’s story. This installment did more “world building” for future stories than the first book did. And I can honestly say I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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Review: Backstage Pass

Backstage Pass
Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance. For him, life is all music and no play. When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius. She's the one to call the tune. When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on. Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin.

I read this after reading “50 Shades of Grey”. I was talking with a girlfriend about 50 Shades and she wondered if 50 was more outrageous than chapter 32 of Back Stage Pass. I read the first 2 pages of Chapter 32 and conceded that it was, in fact, the “gold Standard” of outrageous s#x scenes. Which, of course, prompted me to go right to page one and start from the beginning.

This is definitely and Adult book. I’ve not read a ton of erotica and this one certainly falls under that category, and this would be a wild one, at least as far as my personal experience. It was fun to meet and get to know the 5 men that make up the band “Sinners”, and all that it entails…groupies, tour buses, and the like.

Brian is so sweet and romantic, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels for him. Likewise Myrna is slightly older and much wiser with her psychology degree. She makes a good “Mother Hen” for these 5 overgrown Frat Boys. It was a fun read and I will surely read again and enjoy. Might even have to whisper a few passages into my hubby’s ear one evening. LOL

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Review: Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged
Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis (Borrowing GoodRead’s): Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It's also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he's approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

My Thoughts: It’s been a very long time since I read a book from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As I have progressed through this series the story has shifted considerably. With the first few books, the focus seemed to be more on the Brothers finding love…now the emphasis is definitely on the war with the Lessening Society. Honestly, I started reading the books more for the romance side of things. While the “war” has allowed the series to continue and keep it from boring…I do miss the emphasis on the romance. Or I did with this particular installment.

Because we really haven’t had a whole lot of interaction with Rehv and his crew, it was interesting to learn more about the sympath side of the Vampires. While the story does advance in huge leaps during this 500+ page book of very small print…the romance was sorely missed.

I also have to confess that I usually skim over the Lessening Society parts…unless there is a Brother involved…then I will read them.

Outside of a lack of romance I did enjoy Lover Avenged. The characters and backstory got a huge punch in the arm, story-wise. With the way this installment ended I’m wondering if we will see Rehv and Ehlena much in the future. I hope we do.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted

Goddess Interrupted
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Goddess Test” ended with Kate becoming an immortal and James accompanying her on her first Spring/Summer abroad.

“The Goddess Interrupted” picks up with Kate and James returning from their time abroad. Kate is anxious to get back to Eden Manor to be with Henry. All during their time apart, where ever Kate went, she looked for Henry hoping to catch glimpses of him. Upon her return home, however, he seems distant and Kate is devastated.

As Kate tries to come to grips with this “all-too-distant” Henry, the Gods are dealing with the waking of Kronus and the imminent threat of his escape from Tartarus. Kate, who can’t stand by and watch the destruction, works to help in any way possible which turns out to include tracking down Persephone and getting her to help. As if Henry wasn’t distant enough, now we have to drag the former love of his life into the fray.

I really loved “The Goddess Test” and was curious to see how Aimee Carter would handle the continuation of the story. Well she handled it beautifully, and she remained true to the spirit of the Greek Mythology she took her inspiration from, which I applaud her for!!!

Calliope is back with a vengeance and at the center of all the chaos. You know what they say about a woman scorned! And I reveled in the fact that Persephone was integral to the story thereby driving that wedge between Kate and Henry even further. All the miscommunication and partial psychic visions just made that wedge bigger and bigger! Then to give us that cliffhanger…ARGH! So Aimee, how long are you going to make we wait to find out how that gets resolved??

Personally, I loved “Goddess Interrupted” just as much as “Goddess Test”…I’d be hard pressed to choose between the two. Aimee Carter is an easy author to read and her stories grab me and make it nearly impossible for me to put down. I really look forward to reading and enjoying more from her.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Wings of the Wicked

Wings of the Wicked
Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We are back with the second installment of the Angelfire Trilogy.

Ellie and Will are all business! No tender touches, or subtle glances, nothing! But things really heat up in the world of demon hunting. Cadan is back and is feeding insider info on Bastien’s plans to Ellie. Ellie learns who she really is and the treacherous lengths the reapers will go to to secure their plans.

Whew…don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Angelfire, but this one blew it out of the water! Tons of action, intrigue, some romance…ohhhh, it was good! Everything is kicked up several notches as good battles evil for world domination.

Ellie really goes through HELL in this book, physically, emotionally, mentally as she tries to stop Bastien’s plans. She and Will try get to a comfortable place but can’t, especially after some major and tragic events take place. It was so sad to watch them both go through the events in this story. I admit I had the Kleenex out a few times.

Huge build-up to what will be the main event in the third book! I just hope we don’t have to wait too long!

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Review: Angelfire

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ellie has nightmares of fighting strange creatures. As it turns out Ellie is a reincarnated soul that battles demons. When she dies in one life she is reborn in new one. She is allowed to come to the age of 17 where she should “reawaken” and remember her purpose as well as her previous lives.

Ellie was away longer than usual before being born. She also isn’t reawakening. Her “guardian angel” Will, is able to “wake her up”, but her memory of previous lives is very slow to return…as are her demon hunting killing skills. Ellie is also fighting her purpose…after so many human lives she is reticent to give up her humanity to fight demons full time. Then, there are the feelings she is developing for Will. UGH! Why does life have to be so hard?

I’ve had this book since it came out and for the life of me I can’t figure out what took me so long to read it! It’s one of those “sit down and hold on” roller coaster rides that I read in one glorious sitting. Lots of action (demon killing), lots of unrequited love, and lots of new angel mythology.

I loved the idea of Ellie being reincarnated and allowed to come of age before her past was reawakened in her. What a neat concept. It reminded me of “Incarnate” by Jodi Meadows, except that Jodi’s characters remembered their previous lives from birth. I also can appreciate a strong female lead character, even though Ellie is so torn between her human side and her “purpose”. I think she tries to do a good job of balancing, even though some people around her think her human side is a weakness.

Then there is Will and his being bound to protect and serve Ellie even when he totally disagrees with her choices. He manages to compromise and create balance as well. And it’s that balance that allows them to work so well together. But then after working together for like 600 years, I would think they would have the whole thing down pat.

I look forward to see where Moulton goes with the next installment. Still lots of questions about why Ellie took so long to reincarnate and she still isn’t remembering everything. Also…what do the demons have planned and what the hell is up with Ellie’s Dad?!?!?

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Review: Spellcaster

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Spellcaster picks up a few months post Spellbound. Emma and Brendan are in love and inseparable. That is until Emma gets attacked at field trip to a museum. She, thankfully, was able to fight off her attacker and with the help of witchy friend, Angelique, they are able to discover that the blood of “true lovers”, like Emma and Brendan, is an incredibly potent ingredient used in spells. As more people, around Emma, become endangered, they must try to find who is responsible and figure out how to stop him/her.

Spellcaster tries hard…but it just doesn’t have that “sweep you off your feet” kind of feeling that Spellbound did. I like Aimee Carter’s writing, but feel Spellbound should have been a stand alone book rather than the beginning of a series.

There were a couple of areas where we shifted to Angelique’s perspective, which kind of felt like “filler” to me. We didn’t learn anything new or exciting about Emma or Brendan. Emma consistently kept info from Brendan, Brendan repeatedly asked her to include him, and Emma would continue to lie and go off without him. I did enjoy the introduction of Angelique’s cousin and her knowledge of magic…plus her incessant flirting with Brendan made me chuckle.

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Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m going to skip including the premise of this book…and actually I am going to write this review for the whole “Shades” series.

I was reading the Huffington Post Books section and ran across a story about this series and it piqued my curiousity. Here is a “nutshell” version of what the article said…This series is inspired by Stephanie Meyers’s “Twilight”. It was originally on a site Twilight Fan Fiction and it was referenced as “Mommy Porn”, which, frankly, got my attention.

In an effort to see what all the hub bub was about…I downloaded them. I started the first book, “50 Shades of Grey” on Wednesday afternoon and had finished the whole 3 book series by midnight on Thursday.

As this was Twlight fan fiction I thought it was going to involve vampires…I was WRONG. Rather than vampirism as the central theme it was BDSM – for those of you unfamiliar with the term that is Bondage, Disciple, Sadism, Masochism. Yep, as in “whips and chains”. Now I am not a prude, by any means, but it’s the first time I’d encountered this particular theme in a book I was reading, and I was surprised, to say the least. It’s the BDSM that is drawing all the media attention! But the story was so much more than just BDSM.

Here is where my “review” starts…This was a story of redemption. The male protagonist, Cristian, spent his formative years in an UGLY atmosphere and it was with the introduction of submission that became his coping mechanism during those highly hormonal teenage years. After he learned that “control” he switched over to the “Dominant” role…and that dominance is what allowed him to continue coping…but at a huge cost. His level of self-loathing is astounding…he often said he was “50 shades of fu**ed up”.

Enter our female protagonist, Ana…it’s through it’s through her reticense to participate in his lifestyle, that causes him to re-examine and re-evaluate his life.

Was this the best written book I’ve ever read…NO! Was it an incredibly fun read…YES! Did it make me want to run out and sign up to be someone’s submissive…NO! Did it give me ideas of new areas I might want to try out with my husband…YES! Will I read it again…OH YES!

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Review: Pieces of Us

Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser

Published on 8 March 2012

Published by Flux

336 pages


Two families. Four teens.

A summer full of secrets.

Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives.

Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.

My Review:

Pieces of Us was so much more than I ever expected. I think I was taken by surprise more than anything. From the description of the book we think okay, teens with troubles who escape over their summer vacation. What we don't know is that we will get a chance to experience all the troubles that plague these four teens. Let me just say, the troubles are not sugarcoated AT ALL. Some of it is quite disturbing and edgy. As you wait to hear me say something's not going to happen! I love edgy books that will face hard issues head on. Books that leave you reeling and wondering what the heck just happened! Ones that leave you shaking your head, sitting there wondering how you will follow it up with some bubblegum sticky sweet read. You just grab hold, take the ride and realize this is life! Terrible things can happen to teens today and this is how they might cope when presented with these situations and issues. You will not get a happily ever after with this book, but there is healing and there is growth.

I feel Pieces of Us is a diamond in the rough. A book that quietly entered the YA scene and still remains in the background but so deserves to have some exposure and kudos. 4STARS!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: The Night She Disappeared

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

Published on 13 March 2012

Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

240 pages

My Review:

Gabie, Kayla and Drew work at Pete's Pizza making pies and doing deliveries. One night Kayla switched shifts with Gabie and sets in motion a chain of events that will have everyone question what happened and why. Kayla goes out on a delivery and never returns. Drew took the call and knows the guy asked specifically for the girl who drives the Mini Cooper....Gabie. Kayla's car is found with her missing and all her possession casually left in the car. Pizza boxes on the ground and what appears to be a struggle near the river where her car is found. Everyone believes she was attacked and left to the raging river waters, carried out and never to be seen again. What we know is that Kayla is very much alive and trying her best to survive.

While reading this book I felt like I could have been watching this unfold in real life. I'm a big fan of television crime dramas and TNSD felt like an episode of Criminal Minds but in my hands! The arrogant cop, the volunteer divers, the distraught parents, the creep, the youths no one wants to give any merit, they all made this book work.

I have to say this novel was captivating. There was just enough suspense to keep my interest and have me turning page after page, but it wasn't so intense that I felt my head would pop from the pressure. We get several viewpoints in the book and I always like the diversity that brings to a story. We can be in multiple places at once and get more emotion and thoughts that truly enrich the story.

Make time for this book, it is entertaining. 4STARS!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Romeo Redeemed

Romeo Redeemed
Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Full Review to come

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Review: The Demon's Lexicon

The Demon's Lexicon
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nick has always felt different. He is a 16 year old boy with an older brother who is devoted to him and a head-case Mom who can’t even stand to look at him. Nick was raised in a family that knows magic is real. His Dad was murdered by a magician. That magician was trying to get a charm from his Mom. Nick, his brother, Alan, and their Mom have been on the run ever since. Renting cheap flats and only staying until something magical appears in the vicinity and then they are off and running again. But this time, a sister and brother from Nick’s school appear on the scene and believe Nick and Alan might be able to help with the nightmares and weird mark appearing on Jamie…but helping them gets Alan marked by a demon as well. So it’s a race against time to get the marks removed and not be caught by the Magician that killed Nick’s Dad.

I had tried to read this book a while ago and just couldn’t get into it. However, I picked it up this time and couldn’t put it down. The story moves fast and from the beginning you feel like you aren’t getting the whole story. There are too many holes and convenient excuses. So the reader is looking for clues as to what is going on. The big reveal wasn’t a surprise…I knew it was coming, but what I didn’t know was the how. Lots of surprises pop up in the last third of the book…most I didn’t see coming. Now I want to know where Rees Brennan is going to take it from here.

Because this is part of a trilogy, this first book is a lot of backstory/mythology and world building…and a lot of twists and turns. The world is decidedly dark and full of bad magicians and demons…which makes for wicked fun. Nick is constantly struggling with his feelings/emotions, or lack therein. Alan is a “do-gooder”, but also a very talented liar. A cautionary tale of brotherly love, that grabs and won’t let go.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Juliet Immortal

Juliet Immortal
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Shakespeare had it all wrong! Romeo tricked Juliet into committing suicide so that he could ensure his immortal survival. But what Romeo didn’t see coming was that someone would offer Juliet immortality also. Romeo walks the earth trying to get other star-crossed couples to betray each other while Juliet battles him trying to keep him from corrupting others. That is until Juliet meets someone and falls in love…which is forbidden.

This was a really different twist on the “greatest love story of all”. You do realize R&J is the one that started all the “love at first sight” stuff don’t you? Well, this version cops to the fact that maybe it was more “lust at first sight”, which was refreshing…that is until Juliet turns around and and falls instantly in love with a guy named Ben. But I digress.

This was an interesting take on the Romeo and Juliet…I love that Romeo was responsible for giving the story to Shakespeare…that was funny. I loved that Juliet wanted to make Ariel’s life better…for example the LONG OVERDUE discussion she has with Ariel’s Mom. But while Juliet is doing everything to boost up Ariel, Juliet is whining over her own circumstances which got annoying.

Meanwhile…The whole Gemma/Ben thing was ridiculous. Juliet has been doing this star-crossed lovers thing for 700 years and it never dawned on her there could be two sets of “true loves” floating around? This was pretty predictable…save for the ending and the cliffhanger.

If you love all things Shakespeare or Romeo & Juliet, then you will likely enjoy this slightly different take. If not, then I’m not sure what to tell you. LOL.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: Original Sin

Original Sin
Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy Fricken Plot Twists Batman! I’m still reeling from this one!

All seems to be going well with Luc and Frannie. Gabe has left and Matt is watching her. Luc is doing well as a human…that is until the demons start looking for him to drag his butt back to Hell to stand trial. But he’s human and tagged for Heaven so they are out of luck, right?

Meanwhile Luc has a new neighbor, Lili…a young girl who is struggling to make ends meet, that will be starting at State in the fall. Frannie, befriends her, of course, and introduces her to Taylor and Rylee who will be going to State as well. All is going great until Matt sees Lili and decides to befriend her. Their burdgeoning friendship leaves periods of time when Frannie is Guardian Angel-less…not good! While all this is going on Taylor meets a new guy. And she is obsessed with him…which leads to another whole set of problems. Plus, there is something not quite right about Lili.

OK…there is so much going on here I just don’t know where to start. I do have to say that Lisa Desrochers style is such that the beginnings start out kind of slowly. It’s almost like you are lulled into belief that everything is cool, kosher and copacetic…then she starts dropping bombshells. First a couple, then a little while later, a few more, then it’s “run for cover” time, but she’s already taken out anything that might have been “cover” and these bombshells are just raining down on you. I had to put the book down a few times and wait for my heart to slow down.

There are times I feel the need to yell at Frannie…no, I am not normally one of those people who yell at the actors in the movie theatre, but sometimes I don’t think Frannie hears what is being said. Case in point…Luc makes what looks like an error in judgement…but he was tricked into it. People tell Frannie he was tricked into it, but she doesn’t acknowledge it. She falls for the same trick and acknowledges “that must have been what happened to Luc”. But does she pick up the phone and call Luc and let him off the hook…NO! This is when I yell at her!

I’m still on “Team Luc”…he is such a good guy. He makes mistakes, owns up to them, reflects on them, learns from them. Oh and the stuff he says to Frannie! Case in point…

“I’ve never said it,” he says, his voice low in my ear, “because it’s not enough…those words.”
I flip the last deadbolt and reach for the door handle before I process what he said. I stop and press my forehead into the door, trying to think, to breathe.
He spins me, and his hand cups my face as he gazes down into my eyes. “God, I love you.” His eyes glisten. “I love you with everything that I am.”

SWOON!!!! Hello, I’m melting here!

I really can’t wait to find out what happens in the last book! But I’m not a patient person! I’ll be rooting for Luc though! *dons Team Luc t-shirt*

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Review: Spell Bound

Spell Bound
Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Poor Sophie! When we last saw her she had just been spit out of an Itineris and apparently into Brannick hands! Her magic is bound, her Dad is most likely dead, she’s hoping to find her Mom and figure out what to do from here.

But once Sophie starts to get a handle on everything she is sucked into a vortex and dumped back at Hex Hall. The school and the island seem to be dying and the Casnoff’s are in charge. The good news is that all of the students have been sucked back and Sophie must lay low and figure out what to do and where to go from here to stop the Casnoffs.

For the most part, this conclusion is pretty much what I expected with one exception, involving Sophie’s parents, but that was just a sidenote anyway. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Spell Bound was as “un-put-down-able” as the previous Hex Hall books…but I guess I felt a little short changed on a couple of aspects.

So much talk about the Brannicks and the Eye. Brannicks are active in this book, but there was so much hype about them going into book 3 that they fell flat for me. Granted the plot twist in part 2 was good, put I had suspected it since Book 2. And the Eye was equally hyped but were a complete no-show in Spell Bound.

Another area where I felt short changed was the great conflict, Battle, we’d been building up to throughout the whole book and part of the previous one and it was over so quickly, which I found strange. Not that I am big on huge, drawn out battle sequences…but it was a bit anti-climactic.

And now for the love triangle. Spoiler Alert….scroll down to read.

I knew one of the boys was going to die. See that’s the thing with Love Triangles. No matter how much love the protagonist has for the two love interests…one has to die. Then the protagonist doesn’t have to make a choice and then deal with the self doubts of “did I pick the right person”…fate takes care of it for them. And the one that dies is usually the one that came on the scene second! Which doesn’t bode well for me on another series I am reading.

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Review: Pure

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m still reeling over Pure…read it in one sitting by feigning a migraine so my boys would fend for themselves for dinner so I could “lay down” and read. I know…bad Mommy.

“Pure” picks up a very short while after “Half Blood”. School is in session, Alex is still getting additional training classes, alternating between Aidan and Seth, when a Pure is killed on covenant grounds. Immediately all the Halfs are suspect because everyone knows they can be turned into Daimons and their physical appearance doesn’t change. So now all Halfs are suspect and subjected to some very strict rules “for their own protection”.

Alex is called to a council meeting at the New York headquarters, to talk about what happened with her Mom. While there it becomes apparent that someone is trying to get her into enough trouble to make her a slave, or just kill her outright. Nothing is as it seems!

OH. MY. WORD! First let me say that all similarities to Vampire Academy stopped with Half Blood! This book grabbed me from the first page and I couldn’t put it down until I was done. I had to give this 5 stars simply because I loved it so much that I know I will be reading it again, and again!

The tension between Alex and Aiden was kicked up about 10 notches. There were so many sweet and tender moments between them, I get choked up just thinking about them. But we also get to know the “Man-Whore”, Seth, a lot better too. And while we only really got to see his arrogant and narcissistic in “Half Blood”, we do get to see a little tenderness and caring in “Pure”…actually a whole lot of it, truth be told. The tension between Alex and Seth is through the roof! Alex goes through some pretty significant growth in “Pure” also. Don’t worry, she still speaks without thinking first and her snark level is still incredibly high (endearing qualities in my book).

Intrigue, mystery, and plot twists abound in “Pure”…and holy hell…that ending. I sat stunned! I couldn’t believe what took place…then my kindle copy had the first chapter of the next book in this series. What a TEASE! How long do I have to wait for the next book??? Any answer other than “now” is just too damn long! UGH!

Really really loved this one. Can’t wait for Deity…wish it wasn’t 6+ months away! But I guess it could be worse…could be a year away. Thank God for small favors!

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Review: Croak

Croak by Gina Damico

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lex Bartleby is a 16 year old hellion. She’s about to be expelled, but the fact that there are only 2 days left of school kind of defeats the purpose. So the principal lets it slide with the promise from her parents that she will straighten up over the summer.

Summer. This Summer will be spent working on her Uncle Mort’s farm. Apparently when Dad was sharing with his younger brother all the trouble Lex has been causing, Mort said, “send her here, I’ll take care of it” and that’s what they did.

Only good Ol’ Uncle Mort isn’t a farmer….nope, he is the mayor of Croak. What is croak? Well that’s the town in upstate New York where the grim reapers who work the Eastern third of the US live, and work. And Lex is about to become their newest rookie.

This was such a fun read. I loved the town of Croak which really took all the death clich├ęs and ran with them. With cocktails like the Yorick that is served in a skull! The main street is called “Dead End”. Going through the ether made me think of Space Mountain on an acid trip. And the absurdity of the afterlife…Former Presidents giving newcomer orientations and everyone picking on Edgar Allan Poe.

Lex starts out really rough around the edges…but the whole reaping thing softens her a bit. That is until she reaps her first murder victim and she can see exactly who the murderer is. That when she starts pushing back. Looking for guidelines…boundaries. This is also the same time where a series of murders start showing up as “unknown”. Any reaper with a little experience can tell you exactly what someone died of…but not these people who have all white eyes. The more Lex questions and pushes the more she sinks into the mystery, up to her eyeballs, and the more the townspeople start to blame her arrival for all the troubles.

You have to read this book! If for no other reason than to find out about the world of grim reapers! The gallows humor was just the right amount. The explanations for how the reaper world works were completely plausible. I can’t speak highly enough about this funny and highly imaginative read. I so hope there will be more from Gina Damico and Lex.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: A Temptation of Angels

A Temptation of Angels
A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

16 year old Helen Cartwright’s parents wake her in the middle of the night to shove her in a secret chamber and tell her to open the door in front of her and follow the tunnel to it’s end then go to the address on a piece of paper that’s been shoved in her hand.

Helen does as she’s told while her home burns around her. She finds herself by the Claridge Hotel and the makes her way to the address she was given. At that address she finds out she is part-angel and one of 3 “keepers” left to guard the Earth from demons and their influence.

That’s how “A Temptation of Angels” starts out. It grabs you totally and doesn’t let you go until the ride, er, book is over. If you are a fan of Cassandra Clare and her Mortal Instruments series, I think it’s safe to say that you will love this one as well.

The world of “Angels” feels like a “steampunk” Edwardian era, set in London. We learn the lore behind the keepers, as well as the Dictata (governing council for the Keepers), and the Syndicate which is a group of men hell bent on taking over the world. And we meet the players.

There is the smart Helen, whose upbringing was tailored to the skills she would need as a keeper, even though she knew nothing of her heritage. There is Darius, an older snarkier, young man who is also one of the remaining keepers. Griffin, the slightly younger brother of Darius who is sweet, smart, and strong, but allows Darius to think he is in charge. There is Anna, the equally smart daughter of Galizur, in line to take over for him when the time comes. Galizur the keeper’s wrangler, maker of weapons and emissary between the keepers and the Dictata. And the Dictata, the celestial group who rules the keepers.

Now that we know the players and the playing field I am really hoping this is just the first in a series. This story could stand alone, but I hope it doesn’t. And Michelle Zink, left some very interesting possibilities open for story continuation. Please Ms. Zink…continue the story!!!

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My Thoughts on Reviews

I finished "A Temptation of Angels" last night and went to update on GoodReads. After I had marked the book as "Read" and moved it to my review pile I stopped to read what others thought of the book.

One review in particular picked it apart pretty thoroughly and while the reviewer was right about a lot of the points she dawned on me that's not why I read.  It's like a discussion I've had with my little brother many times. I will say I liked a movie and he will share his thoughts which are much more critical. I realized that while I believe I can be a critical thinker, I just don't want to use that process with my means of would kind of defeat the purpose.

Yep, I use books and movies to escape my real life and the world at large.  My goal is to be absorbed into another world where all my focus is on the book or movie and I can forget everything else for a little while.  Remember that scene in "The Wizard of Oz" where Toto starts to notice the curtain moving and pulls at it to reveal the very mortal man working all the levers? Well I don't want to know that man is there.

Having said all that, when I get completely absorbed in a good story, I will usually gush about it.  No problem listing all the reasons I loved it!  I will not pick it apart and highlight it's absurdities.  On the flip side, if I don't like a book or movie, I try to find something positive to say about it and I might share some of the things I found frustrating about it. But I'm just not going to be that critical about the work because it would take the fun out of it.

Having said all that, I wanted to let you all know what my thought process is regarding the books that I post here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Personal Demons

Personal Demons
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meet Frannie Cavanagh…the middle of 5 girls from a “good” Catholic family. Only Frannie got kicked out of her parochial school for asking too many questions. So Frannie goes to public school. It’s her senior year and Frannie finds herself in the position of having 2 very gorgeous boys vying for her attention, and unbeknownst to her, her soul. There is tall, dark, and handsome Lucifer “Luc” Cain, and tall, blonde, and gorgeous Gabriel. Luc is a demon from Hell and Gabe an angel from heaven. And they both want to “tag” Frannie’s soul for their respective leaders. Why is the question! And trust me…the answers will blow your mind!

I was surprised by this story. Once again I thought, “oh this will be a pretty straight forward good vs evil story”…WRONG! While parts of the story are predictable…the answers to the BIG questions are NOT!

The story is told from the shifting perspectives of Luc and Frannie. The story worked so well because we were in the heads of Luc and Frannie. We needed to know why Frannie didn’t believe in love…and we needed to know what Luc was experiencing and feeling with this “mark” versus previous ones.

My only complaint was Frannie’s BFF Taylor…girl was a beyotch! Frannie is a straight forward kind of gal…level-headed, smart, with a firm sense of right and wrong. Why the hell she put up with Taylor is beyond me…unless Taylor was part of a self-inflicted punishment of sorts???

Ultimately this is a story of redemption…I love stories of redemption! I think everyone deserves a second chance as well as to forgive and be forgiven. And this is one of those stories!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Theseus Cassio Lowood, or Cas for short, comes from a long line of “alternative” thinkers. His mom is a Wiccan and is pretty powerful in her own right. I’m now sure how to describe Cas’s Dad, other than to say he was good at dispatching dangerous and murderous ghosts. That is until he met one powerful enough to get the jump on him. So Cas has picked up his Dad’s mantle and with his Mom he travels the world dispatching dangerous/murderous ghosts. “Anna Dressed in Blood” is in Thunder Bay and if the rumors about her are true, she could be the worst murderer the world has ever seen.

I have to preface my thoughts with a personal note. I recently got sucked into the TV series “Supernatural”. I missed it when it first aired and it seemed like one of those shows you should really see from the beginning. So when Netflix put the whole series on their streaming service I started watching…I love it!

Now, having said all that…I finally picked up Anna Dressed in Blood and could not put it down. What grabbed me from the beginning was the ghost hunting similarity it shared with Supernatural…what kept me riveted to the story was the writing. I’m not sure how to describe it…I wanted to absorb every word. Some authors spend a lot of words describing things…Kendare Blake isn’t short in her descriptions…but every word fits and you feel like it would be missed if it wasn’t there. The attention to important details was astounding. How’s that for an explanation? She weaved a story that was so compelling I fought with myself over whether to savor it slowly or just keep reading cuz I couldn’t put it down.

Her characters were so fully realized and I loved Cas. He had such mature internal dialog. His ghost hunting job was so important to him that he would forego a lot of school activities…UNLESS, the thought he could glean useful info on the ghost he was hunting…and it was the conversation he had in his head about the way he put a note dropped on his desk in his math book to make it look like he would consider writing back to the girl later…know he would not, but not wanting to hurt her feelings by being careless with the same note. But as soon as the bell rang he knew he had to scoot out of class in a hurry and pretend he didn’t hear her calling him.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. The writing is so worth the price of the book, but be forewarned…this is a horror story and parts of it are a very tough read, even for someone who loves horror like I do.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: Half-Blood

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hematois are the offspring of Gods and Mortals, they are also known as “pure”. They are stronger than humans and usually have control over one or two of the elements. Half-bloods are the offspring of Hematoi and Humans. While they are stronger, faster and live longer than humans, they are the slaves and guards of the Hematoi. Oh, and if you are a half, don’t even THINK of mixing, in any way, with a Pure…you will pay the price.

Alex is a half. She and her pure mother left the Hematoi compound three years ago. Alex doesn’t know why they ran away, she’s just trying to be a “normal” kid. That is until one morning when she discovers her mother being drained by a daimon. Daimons are like Hematoi vampires…they live to drain the life force from pures. Alex is able to get away and ultimately winds up back at the compound she and her Mom escaped from. With her limited choices, she hopes to rejoin her class and continue guardian training only she is way behind. Aiden is willing to help her catch up and along the way she discovers what it was her mother ran away from. Alex’s world is about to crash in all around her and the question is is she strong enough to survive it?

As much as I enjoyed this story, and I did, all I could think of was Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. This story’s “big picture” mirrored Mead’s. Granted it was demi-Gods vs. Vampires, but the social hierarchy was basically the same. Alex and Aiden vs. Rose and Dimitri…really, really close storyline. The difference came with Apollyon. The Apollyon is a half born every generation that is stronger than a pure, can command all the elements, unlike a pure, and is basically a check and balance to keep the pures from getting too big for their britches. Only in Alex’s generation there are two Apollyons and that only happened one other time in recorded history and it didn’t end well.

I enjoy Jen Armentrout’s writing immensely. And I’m sorry for all the Vampire Academy comparisons. To be fair, if I’d read Half-Blood first, I would be comparing VA to it. I didn’t enjoy Half-Blood as much as I hoped I would…BUT, I think now that the backstory is established I am very anxious to read the next book in this series and revisit these characters. I really want to see what the Alex/Seth dynamic ends up being. In closing I do highly recommend this Covenant series, just be aware that the story may seem a bit familiar, but it’s a good read nonetheless.

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Review: Daimon

Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I didn't think of this as a prequel...more of a prologue. My review for Half Blood will be for this book as well.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Found this on Twitter

Found the above via twitter. It's a reading test. It has you read a short piece of writing then asks you 3 questions on it to verify you did read it. Then it shows you your number of words per minute. How long it would take you to read War and Peace, how you rate against the national average and other interesting tidbits. Click above to take the test and share your speed in the comments...I'm curious to see the speeds of other voracious readers, such as yourself.

Oops...almost forgot to post my results.

472 words per minute which is 89% faster than the national average
War and Peace would take 20 hours and 44 minutes to read at that pace and the whole Bible in 27hours 28minutes
I should be able to average 1.7 books between Kindle Fire recharges

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Croak

Croak by Gina Damico

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars! Great read! Just loved it! Review to come!

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Review: Shadows

Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shadows is a prequel to Obsidian. One of the defining moments for Daemon and Dee in Obsidian is what actually happens in Shadows.

I read Shadows first and had it spoiled for me by my blog partner, KristyZ! But I digress. In Obsidian, Daemon and Dee both tell Katy about a quintessential moment in their lives up until then. That moment is this story. So I won’t spoil it, like someone else I know, I’m only going to say it’s about Daemon and Dee’s brother Dawson.

There isn’t much to say about this other than it explains so many things in greater detail. It adds level of understanding to why Daemon and Dee are the way they are…good and bad. If you enjoyed Obsidian as much as I did, then you owe it to yourself and the characters to read this novella.

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Review: Obsidian

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars!!

Poor Katy! Poor Poor Katy! Katy has been forced to move to the boonies of West Virginia to start over. She moves in next door to the singularly best looking guy on the planet! Daemon! Daemon the 6 foot plus, muscular, dark haired, beautifully green-eyed, arrogant, Asshat! Unfortunately, his sister Dee loves Katy and they become the best of friends. It is through this friendship that Daemon and Katy are kind of forced to spend time together. Daemon makes it clear he hates Katy one moment, then the next he’s almost kind of sweet and caring…but watch out cuz the asshat is there just bubbling under the surface!

See, what Katy doesn’t know, is that while Daemon looks human he is actually a Luxen (alien) hiding out on Earth. Daemon’s home planet died and they negotiated with the Dept. of Defense to live on Earth and disguise themselves as humans, BUT no one can know they are aliens or the DOD makes the people who know, disappear…so for everyone’s safety it’s easier just to not associate with the humans.

I wasn’t sure in which order to write these reviews. I actually read “Shadows” first. It is the prequel to this title. It covers the quintessential event that makes Daemon who/what he is. Thanks to my pal and blog partner, KristyZ for spoiling that book for me! (Sorry, I just can’t let her off the hook for that one quite yet! Love ya KZ) But decided to review Lux first since it is the main story.

Katy and Daemon define a “Love/Hate” relationship. Daemon sees Katy as someone who brings his beloved sister some long overdue and much deserved joy, but he can’t help but worry that time spent around Katy may bring their alien enemies (the ones that destroyed the Luxen home world) right to their front porch. I get Daemon, I get his arrogance, his desire to have nothing to do with humans, but on the flip side, would it kill him to be a little nicer? I mean jeez, ever heard of “you get more flies with honey than vinegar”?

Katy, meanwhile, can’t help but be attracted to Daemon…I mean who wouldn’t be? Maybe a blind person…maybe. But that attraction only lasts until he opens his mouth and spews another load of crap on her. And talk about mixed signals…Look it up in the dictionary and there will be a picture of Daemon! He has poor Katy yo-yoing back and forth so fast it’s a wonder she doesn’t have whiplash.

But what I loved most about this story?!?!...the whole unrequited love/mixed signals/Love/Hate thing doesn’t get resolved…at all! Katy and Daemon do understand each other a little better though. But I can still look forward to more snark and more asshat! Can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. I can tell you I will be waiting with baited breath!

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Review: Truth

Truth by Julia Karr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this sequel to “XVI” Nina’s life is undergoing some major changes. Her Grandpa lost track of time and was caught talking on an unauthorized communication device that has him hauled off to jail…which prompts Grandma to have a heart attack…leaving Nina and her sister Dee on the street…but not for long. Thankfully Wei’s family steps in to assume guardianship for the time being. But that’s just the beginning of the story

Truth surprised me…I really didn’t expect to like it more than XVI, but I did. The story continues to drive forward, which I expected, but the focus of the story is not the romance between Nina and Sal, which I expected. The drive forward is to get the truth about FELS and what it does out to the populace.

I loved the idea of the Sisterhood…the group of girls doing resistance activities, but aren’t part of the resistance because the boys think they are too fragile. But yet the girls are smart and effective in their own ways, without being forced to sit and watch from the sidelines.

Nina goes through a lot of change and turmoil. She is headstrong and stubborn but it’s due to a love of family and friends, especially her little sister. She sees injustice and wants to right it. How can that be a bad thing? I really do like what Julia Karr is doing with this series. I love seeing a strong morally driven young girl fighting against injustice, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Review: Prophecy of the Sisters

Prophecy of the Sisters
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unbeknownst to Lia and Alice, they are part of a prophecy. The first sign appears on Lia’s wrist after she, Alice and their brother Henry bury their father. It’s a raised welt in the shape of a snake eating it’s own tail. Later Lia notices a couple of local girls, Sonia and Luisa, with the same welt on their wrist. It turns out they are all part of an ancient prophecy involving twin sisters. One sister is the gate, and the other is the guardian. The “gate” is all that stands between humanity and Lucifer. If the gate is opened, Lucifer shall be loosed upon the earth to wreck the havoc of the apocalypse.

Classic case of good vs. evil, God vs. the Devil…all that stands in the way is a couple of 16 year old girls in the late 19th century. Of course one is on the side of God and one on the side of the Devil. While the book is beautifully written I found the story moved much too slowly for my liking. I also found the storyline a bit too predictable. That aside, this is the first book in a trilogy, and I’m hoping it was the backstory that mostly bogged down the story. I’m planning on reading the second book, in the hopes that the pace picks up and the story takes on some more exciting elements.

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Review: Buried: A Goth Girl Mystery

Buried: A Goth Girl Mystery
Buried: A Goth Girl Mystery by Linda Joy Singleton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thorn (nee Beth Ann) is a recent transplant to Nevada Bluff. She comes from a family of six kids where her Mom is a minister and her Dad is looking for work. Thorn is a goth (which her Dad just hates), and she is a “finder”. She is drawn to objects and when she touches them she gets psychic visions from them. Which is what happens at school one day.

Thorn finds a gold locket on a shoelace and it transports her to a remote area. With the help of another psychic friend she finds the remote area and what appears to be the skeleton of a baby. So who’s locket is it? Whose baby is it? How did the baby die? All these mysteries and many more, like the “grin reaper” are addressed in “Buried”.

This was my first Linda Joy Singleton book. I’ve had my eye on her Seer series for a while, but just haven’t had a chance to read it yet. After “Buried”, it’s moved up on my “to-read” list. This was a fun, fast read, one whose ending I didn’t totally see coming which was nice. So many mysteries out there you can predict the outcome in the first few chapters, and while I was on the right path, Singleton was able to slip in another option that hadn’t occurred to me. Singleton’s writing is the right amount of description and dialog and her dialog is sharp and witty. Just what I enjoy most!

I liked Thorn a lot. She was smart and snarky! For all her Goth looks, she isn’t Goth inside. She’s just a normal girl from a big family trying to find her way. I loved that her minister mother was so accepting of her, even when they did miscommunicate. And I was frustrated with her Dad for seeing her at only face value. I would have loved to know more about KC, Rune and Amerie. I’m hoping there will be more Goth Girl Mysteries and I can get to know them better…but mostly I want to see if something will develop between Thorn and Jay. I definitely loved Jay and want to see more of him.

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