Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alphabet Challenge

I had never heard of a reading challenge until the end of last year.  I felt like I was in a reading rut, so I decided participating in a challenge might be a good way to get past that.  The Alphabet Challenge was the first one I decided to do.  Now for those who don't know this challenge is really simple and there a few different ways it can be done.  Some choose to read a different book title starting with each letter of the alphabet.  And still others will choose to do this by author (either first name or last name).  I decided to use book titles for my first challenge.  This is what I read this year to fulfill by alphabet challenge.

A - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
B - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
C - Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
D - Destiny’s Dowry by Rosemary Gard
E - Evermore by Alyson Noel
F - Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
G - The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
H - The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I - Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
J - Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
K - Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler
L - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
M - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
N - No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
O - Odd Hours by Dean Koontz
P - Pillars of the Earth by Kent Follet
Q - The Quincunx by Charles Palliser
R - Rasputin’s Daughter by Robert Alexander
S - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk
T - The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Sutterfield
U - Uglies by Scott Westerfield
V - The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
W - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
X - The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
Y - The Yellow Room Conspiracy by Peter Dickinson
Z - Zelda’s Cut By Phillippa Gregory


I was extremely lucky that I enjoyed most of these books.  But, I didn't start this blog until I was probably more than half way through this challenge.  I would have to say my favorites were Memoirs of a Geisha, Secret Life of Bees, and Water for Elephants

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)


Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication: April 2006 by Miramax
Pages: 375
ISBN: 9780786838653


Description: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse: Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. Percy's mom decides it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends, one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena, Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves


I Give This Book 4 Stars!


I've always been interested in Greek mythology, so this book caught my eye really quick!  The story is extremely simple, which is not suprising since it is written for middle schoolers.  But, it was a fun and fast read.  My only issues were the ease in which the problems were solved and the mythology presented in the book.  For example, why would a 6th grader be able to take out a minotaur so easily?  And then beat Ares, the God of War, in a battle?  There was also a lot of mythology introduced in this book, with little explanation behind it.  I knew most if because I've studied Greek mythology in high school and in college.  But, how much of this would the average middle schooler know?  Still, a very fun way to introduce mythology to young readers!  I'll continue on with the series.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2) by Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2)


Title: Blood Bound
Author: Patrica Briggs
Published: January 2007 by Ace
Pages: 292
ISBN: 9780441014736


Description: Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.  
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.


I Give This Book 4 Stars!


I enjoyed this book much more than Moon Called.  Maybe it's because this one dealt with the vampires.  The wolf pack is there, and you get more insight into the inner workings of the Alpha and his pack.  But, I loved the vampires.  This seethe (as its referred to in the book) is more how I picture vampires.  They are evil and not to be trusted.  Even Stefan, who Mercy considers to be a friend, I wouldn't want to be alone with in a room.  I loved the descriptions of how each mythical creature's magic works.  And the scene with the demon and Mercy at her trailer actually freaked me out a little (made me wish I wasn't reading it late at night with all the lights off)!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer

The Manufactured Identity


Title: The Manufactured Identity
Author: Heath Sommer
Publication: June 2009 by Tate Pub & Enterprise Llc
Pages: 308
ISBN: 9781606965504


Description:  Months after his mysterious disappearance from a routine fishing trip, no one really expects over-the-hill Texas housewife Lory Latchley to find her missing husband—especially her husband. The Manufactured Identity is clinical psychologist Heath Sommer's ever-escalating immersion into the world of unlikely friends who each awaken to find their faithful companions missing without warning or reason. Desperate to find meaning in their pain, they are thrust by the auspices of fate into a common thread of mystery and human frailty. In the end, the fate of all may reside in the unstable hands of rookie pastor John Joe, but ultimately Lory and her newfound partners will uncover a truth so unnerving it makes even infidelity look palatable.


I Give This Book 4 Stars!


I was intrigued from the first couple pages of The Manufactured Identity.  I love psychological mystery/thrillers, and have to say that this is one of the best.  I've found most doctors turned writers try not to show too much of their psychology backgrounds in a story they've written.  But, I found this book was the opposite and I loved every minute of it.  But, then I have a B.S. in psychology so I sort of revel in this kind of stuff.  I wasn't sure were the story was going for a while and there are a lot of characters to keep track of.  But, as I soon found out, this was all part of the point.  It was fascinating to watch the story unfold and I was completely shocked at what the whole truth entailed.  I thought the person revealed in the end was different, so I liked being surprised.  In the end was very glad to have read this book!


* A special thanks to the Author, Dr. Heath Sommer, for the chance to review this book!

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



First, off this is hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog.  If you want to participate, head over and join in the fun!

Read Last Week

  • The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore

  • The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommers - review to come tomorrow!


Currently Reading

  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs


To Read This Week

  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

  • Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

  • Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria Snyder

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

I loved my mailbox this week.  Granted these all came in one package, but I was so excited to get it.  Thanks again to my mother in law for the gift card!

Tattoo    My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)   Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception   Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters, #1)   The Devouring   I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)

  • Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  • My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1) by Rachel Vincent

  • Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

  • Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

  • The Devouring by Simon Holt

  • I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I Would Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling



Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Published: October 2008 by Harcourt Children's Books
Pages: 471
ISBN: 9780152063962


Description: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill.   As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.   When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.   She never expects to become Po’s friend.   She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.


I Give This Book 5 Stars!


I have to be honest in saying that I felt Graceling started out a little slow.  But, the story builds very quickly until you feel like the book is going at breakneck speed towards the end.  I was fascinated by the idea of the Gracelings.  Gracelings are people born with rare talents and can be distinguished from regular people by their different colored eyes.  The lead character Katsa is one of them.  Her grace is killing people.   As she struggles with her Grace, her Uncle's command of her, and her own thoughts of who she really is, she discovers that she is more than what everyone sees.  She does this with the help of Po, a Graceling Prince.  Po is a wonderful male lead character who is willing to sacrifice everything for Katsa.  I was riveted by their developing relationship.  But, the story isn't all about finding who you are and romance.  The action takes your breathe away.  Katsa and Po must save a young princess whose father is hiding something that no one will believe.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shield

The Stone Diaries



Title: The Stone Diaries
Author: Carol Shields
Publication: April 1995 by Penguin
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780140233131


Description: This fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett, captured in Daisy's vivacious yet reflective voice, has been winning over readers since its publication in 1995, when it won the Pulitzer Prize. After a youth marked by sudden death and loss, Daisy escapes into conventionality as a middle-class wife and mother. Years later she becomes a successful garden columnist and experiences the kind of awakening that thousands of her contemporaries in mid-century yearned for but missed in alcoholism, marital infidelity and bridge clubs. The events of Daisy's life, however, are less compelling than her rich, vividly described inner life--from her memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death.


I Give This Book 3 Stars!


I'm not sure really what to think of this book.  The description makes it sound like it is told from Daisy's point of view, but really it is not.  It almost like an outsider wrote it that knew everything about Daisy.  While I liked the book, I felt next to nothing for Daisy herself.  I found those surrounding her to be far more interesting.  They gave the story life.  Thankfully you get a few clips of the story told from varying viewpoints.  I got the most from the letters, etc that are throughout the story.   I kept hoping the Daisy would eventually find something to tie her to this world.  Most people I think go through life trying to make their mark, something that says they were here long after they're gone.  With Daisy it was like she knew she would never been remembered, so why try.  She even felt her children and grandchildren would eventually forget about her.  She was content to just exist for the moment.  It was not depressing, I just felt sorry for her.  Still, not a bad story.  And it was much more enjoyable than the 2 of the 3 books I've read for my Pulitzer Prize winners challenge.


 


 


 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins

   Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)



Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins         
Published:  Sept. 1, 2009 by Scholastic Press
Pages: Hardcover 391
ISBN: 0439023491


 Description: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta.  But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.


I Give This Book 4.5 Stars!


I had high hopes for Catching Fire, and it did not disappoint. But, I did not feel it was as exciting and fast paced as The Hunger Games. I still love Katniss and her courage and strength. She is a wonderful lead character and shows much more development that a lot of stories out there. I am more team Peeta than I was after The Hunger Games.  He is amazingly self sacrificing.  But, I would love to have more knowledge of Gale.  He seems much more important to the story than the author indicates.  I was still instantly pulled into the story which is what I was hoping for. I was not expecting the turn of events that took place at the hands of the capital.  Although, I should not have been surprised given the knowledge of how cruel the capital can be.  The theories about district 13 were especially intriguing!  The ending confused me a little and I had to reread to make sure I understood what happened. It left a great cliffhanger to this story that has me eagerly awaiting book 3!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poison Study (Study, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study (Study, #1)

I Give this book 4.5 Stars!

Description: Choose: A quick death and hell or slow poison and hell.  About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.   And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.   As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear.

This book was so close to being worthy of 5 stars!  I loved it.  I found myself having to read it at odd times just because I wanted to know what happened (I read while I was cooking dinner even lol).   I really enjoyed Yelena's character.  I thought she was well developed and made the story interesting.  The circumstances in the story were intriguing.  The only reason it didn't get 5 stars, is because I figured out some of the events before they happened.  Not a big deal, but one of them I wish I would have felt the suprise of it instead of figuring it out way before.  I will pick up the next in the series and continue on!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 



First, off this is hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog.  If you want to participate, head over and join in the fun!


I want to say, while it's been a good week in the reading department, it's been a not so good week in the getting the reviews posted.  My husband came home from hunting sicker than sick.  The doctor ruled out everything but H1N1, so that's what they say he has.  Problem is that the person we thought he caught it from doesn't have H1N1 (or so his doctor says), so it's basically just waiting it out and hoping the kids and I don't come down with whatever he has.  And we all know that men are in dire need of pampering when they are sick (please tell my husband is not the only one!).


Read Last Week



  • Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

  • Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

  • Poison Study  by Maria V Snyder

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


Currently Reading



  • The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields


Plan To Read



  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore

  • The Manufacture Identity by Heath Sommer

  • Blood Bound  by Patricia Briggs

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

For Review From the Author:

The Manufactured Identity 

  • The Manufactured Identity by Dr. Heath Sommer


From Paperback Swap:

Unclean Spirits (The Black Sun's Daughter, #1) 

  • Unclean Spirits (The Black Sun's Daughters #1) by M.L.N Hanover


Bought:

Oh. My. Gods.   Wondrous Strange

  • Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

  • Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2) by Alyson Noel

Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2)


I Give This Book 4 Stars!


Description: Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen’s are waning.  In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen’s tortured past; a past which he has always kept hidden from her. But in her quest to cure Damen, Ever discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must chose between turning back the past and saving her family from the accident that claimed their lives—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows sicker every day...


Yeah for a sequel that's better than the first book!  Now don't get me wrong, I liked Evermore.  The story in Blue Moon flows better.  The characters are more developed.  I especially enjoyed Eve's character and what she goes through in this books.    Having to choose between the one you love and your family would be hard on anybody.  I liked Damen more this time, but I hated watching what he did under the influence of others.  I will be reading book 3 when it's available!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb

Naked in Death (In Death #1)


I Give This Book 4 Stars!



Description: It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.
When a senator's daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she'd been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washing-ton politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve's growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome . . . and the leading suspect in the investigation.


I really love this series, but I was stupid and started at like book 20.  I had never heard of the In Death Series, so I just picked up one that looked really good.  I was hooked and always meant to go back to the beginning.  I was thrilled when I finally got a library card and they had the entire series.  Being the first in the series doesn't make any less than the rest.  It was great to finally understand how somethings come into play later on.  Although, I did miss some of the characters that appear later.  I love Eve and Roarke.  They are such an interesting couple even from the beginning.   I will continue reading them in order now just to catch all the stuff I missed!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Private (Private, #1) by Kate Brian

Private (Private, #1)


I Give This Book 3 Stars!



Description:  Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible...
Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.
Until she meets the Billings Girls.
They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.
Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private.



Oddly enough, I both loved and hated this book.  There were quite a few things that I didn't like.  For example, throughout almost the whole story  Noelle calls Reed "glass-licker", and it rubbed me the wrong way.  I also disliked how Reed would do anything they asked and barely bat an eye about it.  But, the events were interesting and at times suspenseful.  I think Reed wanted the perfect life, and felt like The Billings Girls had it.  I think there's a lot more to her character that hasn't been revealed in the first book.  I think I'll read the next one and see were the story goes.
As for secrets...not sure about that.  The only secret Reed discovers become common knowledge within a couple chapters.  Maybe it's hinting and future things she discovers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

The Various Haunts of Men


I Give This Book 2.5 Stars!


Description: A woman vanishes in the fog up on "the Hill", an area locally known for its tranquility and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet cathedral town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case; she's new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, dedicated, and needs to know - perhaps, too much. She and the enigmatic detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler have the task of unraveling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events. From the passages revealing the killer's mind to the final heart-stopping twist, The Various Haunts of Men is an astounding and masterly crime debut, the first in what promises to be a magnificent series featuring Simon Serrailler.


This book had such potential, but fell flat in my opinion.  The description makes the book sound like a mystery/thriller, but it's written more like a drama.  It felt like it was extremely drawn out, and at times I was completely bored.   I picked the killer out half way through the book, but never really understood why he killed.   There wasn't much momentum through the book.  The shocker at the end was completely unfulfilling.  And why it's called a Simon Serrailler mystery is beyond men.  You barely see the man throughout the book and by the end you know next to nothing about him. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



“It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog!
I had to rearrange my reading last week, but it worked out for the better.  I read a couple books that have been sitting on my shelves for a while.  I'm also behind on my reviews.  I need to get 2 up, hopefully before I finish the one I'm reading!

Read Last Week:

Currently Reading

  • Naked in Death by J.D. Robb


Plan to Read:

  • Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

  • Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

I've been a reader forever (or at least since I could read lol).  It seems people have forgotten about it until I started talking about my blog.   So, it was my birthday this past week and all I received was books or gift card for books.  Now, I'm not complaining, I just thought it was kind of funny.  This is what I received....

From my parents:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)   An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)

  • A Breathe of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

  • An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon


 

My brother got me

Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2)

  • Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead


My awesome mother-in-law got me a gift certificate for books from Amazon.  I've already redeemed it and will post those books when I receive them!

And my grandmother got me a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble.   I haven't gotten any books with it yet.  I'm trying to decide if I want to order online or wait until I get to the store.    

So, needless to say, I won't be running out of books anytime soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever


I Give This Book 4 Stars!


Description: when asked how she is coping with her father's death, invariably seventeen year old Macy Queen's answer is "fine," when nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, she is drowning in grief while maintaining a flawless fa├žade of good grades and unblemished behavior. Though she feels lost when her boyfriend heads to "Brain Camp" for the summer, she finds herself a job with the quirky Wish Catering crew, and meets "sa-woon"-worthy Wes, whose chaotic lifestyle is in direct opposition to her own. As the two share their stories over the summer, Macy realizes she can no longer keep her feelings on ice. Though it feels like her future ended with her dad's death, Macy's learns that forever is all about beginnings. Dessen charts Macy's navigation of grief in such an honest way it will touch every reader who meets her.


I've never read anything by Sarah Dessen before.  I wanted to give her a try.  Not sure why I picked this book, but I'm glad I did.  And I will be reading more of her books.  This was a feel good story that I think is perfect for teens.  Her characters are very real and the actions taken are believable.  I was engrossed in the story from the first page.  It's not action packed, but a carefully constructed story with a real message.  I identified with the main character and what she was going through.   Overall, it was a wonderful story.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak


I Give This Book 4 Stars!



Description: Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...
Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence.



I finding it very hard to put into words how I felt about this book, especially without giving away the big part of the story (although, it's not hard to guess).  I understood the main character, not because I've been in her situation.  But, because I know those who have.  It was upsetting to watch her sink lower and lower into a depression and see that no one cared.  I couldn't believe that her parents couldn't see that there was something extremely wrong with their daughter.  And how her ex-friends could be so petty about something they never cared to understand.   I breezed through this because I had to get to the end.  I needed to know that Melinda realized it was not her fault and that she could (and needed) to speak about it.  And in coming to terms with that I believe she realized she was probably not the only one.
I hope the any parent or young adult that reads this, takes into account what changes a person might go through if they experience something like Melinda did.  Not speaking up about it is a very real problem.
I do have to say that the writing in this story was very simple and written differently than a lot of things I've read.  But, I believe it is suppose to be that way.  I think it demonstrates how the narrator feels very well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1) by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

Description: "Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too. "
Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.
But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.


For the most part I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the characters and their development throughout the story.  I especially like Mercy.  The plot was interesting and kept me reading.  My only problem was at times, it was hard to follow.  I found myself having to reread paragraphs (or pages) to make sure I understood what was happening.  In fact I had to reread the section with the vampires more than once because I was completely confused.  I enjoyed reading more about the werewolves and how their dominance works.  And I was right in thinking that reading Moon Called (and maybe more of the series) first would have been better when reading Cry Wolf.  Overall, still a likeable read.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Envy (Luxe, #3) by Anna Godbersen

Envy (Luxe, #3)


I Give This Book 4 Stars



Description: Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.
Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.
In this next thrilling installment of Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets. . . .


I agree with those who say that this is the best so far in the series.  I couldn't put this one down.  I felt so sorry for Elizabeth, but was so glad to see the author took it in the direction she did as far as her character goes.  I'm also hoping things work out some how for Diana and Henry.  I've enjoyed watching their characters grow and change.   While I still think Penelope is a witch, I was beginning to feel sorry for her towards the end of the book.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I can't wait for the final book!

Teaser Tuesday From Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:





  •  Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page

  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser:  “Then power washed through the van, not like the power the Alpha's could call, nor did it feel like the magic Elizaveta Arkadyevna used.  It was akin somehow to the fae power of glamour and tasted like metal and blood in my mouth. 

From Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!




Monday, October 5, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



“It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is hosted by J. Kaye

Read Last Week:

Currently Reading:

  • Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill


Plan to Read:

  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

  • Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

It's been a good week!  I want to thank Lilibeth at ChicaReader.  She posted a few books at Book For Grabs, and I was able to snag a few I've really wanted to read

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, #2)    Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)   Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely, #2)   

* City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
* Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
* Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

From Paperbackswap

Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1)

* Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer #1) by Karen Chance

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rough Country by John Sandford

Rough Country


I Give This Book 4 Stars!



Description: Virgil’s always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he’s probably not going to be getting too many opportunities for that during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort, where a woman has been shot while kayaking. The resort is for women only, a place to relax, get fit, recover from plastic surgery, commune with nature, and while it didn’t start out to be a place mostly for those with Sapphic inclinations, that’s pretty much what it is today.
Which makes things all the more complicated for Virgil, because as he begins investigating, he finds a web of connections between the people at the resort, the victim, and some local women, notably a talented country singer. The more he digs, the more he discovers the arrows of suspicion that point in many directions, encompassing a multitude of motivations: jealousy, blackmail, greed, anger, fear. Then he finds that this is not the first murder, that there was a second, seemingly unrelated one, the year before. And that there’s about to be a third, definitely related one, any time now. And as for the fourth . . . well, Virgil better hope he can catch the killer before that happens. Because it could be his own.


When I first started this book I was afraid maybe I had stepped away from this genre for too long. It felt rough around the edges, seemed more of a "man's" book, and I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But, I knew if I walked away from a mystery, it would bug me not knowing who the killer was. So, I stuck it out through the language (which wasn't excessive, but apparently I've been reading books that don't contain a lot), and the focus on the lesbian issues. Then it really started to draw me in, and I was extremely glad I hadn't given up on it. I got a great twist towards then end that I really didn't see coming. I love that because I've read enough of this type of story that I usually can see it coming. The mystery was tied together nicely and the last pages left me laughing!


 


* I want to thank Lydia Hirt for the chance to opportunity to read and review this book!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, #2) by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, #2)


I Give This Book 4 Stars!


Description: At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists- a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper- to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble? Can they overcome paralyzing fear?


I was a little worried I wasn't going to enjoy this as much as the first (my curse of not liking book 2 in a series).   It starts out slow, but then I just wanted to the kids to get back to Fablehaven!  Then things really start to pick up and your immersed in the magical world again.  I was hoping for more creatures, explanations, and just more on the preserve itself with the first book.  I got it this time around.   I loved the story line with the demon and Seth.  The entire chapters with them retrieving the artifact from the inverted tower were great!  I kept picturing the scenes and how they would look in movie form.  While I still think it's not as great as Harry Potter, I think the series is a great filler for those looking for something magical now that the Harry Potter series is finished!

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