Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: Original Sin (Personal Demons #2) by Lisa Desrochers

Original Sin (Personal Demons, #2)Title: Original Sin
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Series: 2nd in Personal Demons
Pages: 400
Published: July 5, 2012 by Tor Teen
ISBN: 9780765328090
Source: ARC from Around The World Tours

Description: When secrets and old histories come to light, Frannie realizes that nobody is who she thought they were. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Some are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell's grasp. And not everyone will get out of it alive.

I Give This ...

There's a lot that happens in this book.  It's a lot to process, but in the end I really enjoyed this book.  

The fact that Luc is now human doesn't please everyone.  Hell is bound and determined to figure out how he did it.  In fact most of the book is concerning Hell trying to reverse Luc's tag so they can drag him back to hell for punishment.  And they really will stop and nothing to get that done.  And the demons are much worse in this book than in the first.  I actually really enjoyed the havoc Luc causes for hell.  It's an interesting twist that I'm sure he wasn't intending.  I'll be curious to see how the plays out in future books. 

And even Frannie's new guardian angel doesn't think Luc can overcome his demon past.  His behavior is so far from what I think a guardian angel should be like.  It was sad to watch him become what he does by the end of the book. I think Gabe should have seen some of that coming.  But I don't think he sees straight when it comes to Frannie.  Gabe doesn't get near enough book time, but there are parts of that are told from his point of view.  We get a much better idea of his feelings for Frannie and what the consequence would be if he were to act on them.  It's not small price to pay and I understand why he tries to distance himself from her..."Lead us not into temptation" fits it perfectly.

I liked Frannie quite a bit more in this one.  She seems more adult and is coming to terms with what has happened so far.  When Hell pinpoints that she's the one that turned Luc mortal, they really start to reverse her tag as well.  The demons, etc do a really good job of isolating Frannie from everyone.  They use all those human emotions that don't bring out the best of us and use them against her.  There's a lot of anger, distrust, and vengeance in this book.  There's also quite a bit of sex.  I don't mind that in young adult books, but I found in this one it was different.  There's one scene that I would dang near classify as rape.  It's one way the demons are using to tag humans for hell, so you can imagine it's not pleasant.  

I devoured this book.  It was an excellent read despite some of the sexual aspects, which is why I would recommend it for older teens.  It's possible that it could be edited before release as I've read an ARC version.  I'm still very interested in reading the next one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashers

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Sisterhood Everlasting (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #5) Sisterhood Everlasting
Ann Brashares
Publish Date: June 14, 2011

Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected. 
I love the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, and was excited to hear that there would be a 5th book.  I like the idea that they are all grown up.  Can't wait to see wear the story takes us.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray

Hex, A Witch and Angel TaleTitle: Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale
Author: Ramona Wray
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 254
Published: Available now by CreateSpace (Amazon)
ISBN: 9781452871578
Source: Author sent for review

Description: Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life. So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.

I Give This ...

I admit, I almost turned this review down.  I haven't had a lot of luck with self published novels.  But, I was intrigued because I liked the cover and description.  I'm so glad that got the best of me because I would have missed out on a really great book!

I actually really loved Lily.  I liked the idea of instantly knowing someone's life just by touching them.  While it's not new, the books presents it differently.  Lily is still somewhat of a social outcast because of this.  But she has her trusty best friend and her family.  She avoids physical contact with people, but doesn't let them stop her from trying to be social.  She was well rounded and I found that she was someone I enjoyed reading about.

I also enjoyed Ryder.  He doesn't just show up all of a sudden and then Lily's is drawn to him (how many storied out there are like that).  Lily has been admiring him from afar for over a year.  Turns out he has been doing the same.  He knows all about her and for some reason I didn't find it creepy at all.  It seemed sweet.  And while I thought he professions of love, etc were a bit heavy at times, it all made perfect sense in the end.  I really enjoyed how their relationship progressed.

I also really enjoyed the mythology behind what Lucian and Ryder really are.  I wasn't expecting the twist and turns in the story and the connection to Lily.  It was really a great overall story with all questions answered and no cliff hanger at the end.  I hope the author goes far with this!  


Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.  Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
I've had a very interesting reading week.  It was spring break here and I watched my cousins kids (plus my own) while they worked.  Since they spent the entire time playing, I spent a lot of time reading.  I managed to breeze through 5 books and I'm half way through a 6th.  And what a great lots of books they were.  My two favorites of the year are in this lot (although I don't give either 5 stars they were so close).  Can you guess which ones they were?
Read Last Week: 
  • Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  •  Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
  • The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
  • Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah
 Currently Reading:
  • Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Up This Week: 
  • Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells
  • Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sunday, March 27, 2011

WINNER - CSN Stores Giveaway!

Grats2 Pictures, Images and Photos

I want to thank everyone who entered my contest for a $40 gift code to CSN stores!  So with out further ado the winner is ...

She's already been contacted and hopefully will get back to me soon!

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture JunkieI also want to mention that all my cover pictures link to Goodreads!

Instructions for a Broken HeartThe False Princess
  • Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson 
  • The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal (Star Book Tours)


Princess BenSecondhand CharmDon't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3)

  • Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
  • Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Haunted (Dreaming Anastasia #2) by Joy Preble

Haunted (Dreaming Anastasia, #2)Title: Haunted
Author: Joy Preble
Series: 2nd in Dreaming Anastasia
Pages: 290
Published: Available now from Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781402244681
Source: Sent by publisher
Description: Anne is trying her best to live a normal life, but she's still got some power sparking inside her. She's hearing and seeing things that she tries her best to ignore-like being haunted by a Russian sea nymph that claims the princess Anastasia is still alive. That's when Ethan Kozninsky-he of the stunning blue eyes, thick brown hair, and former immortal status-returns. Anne soon realizes that everything she's been trying to forget might be impossible to bury.
I Give This ...
I think I being a little generous with the 4 rating, but I know I enjoyed more that those books I give a 3.  It was really the ending that I had issues with.
I've noticed lots of reviews that stated the reader was surprise/upset that Ethan and Anne are not together at the beginning of this book.  I fully expected it and it didn't bother me.  I think they were both trying to process and deny what happened during book 1.  Ethan was coming to terms with being mortal and trying to avoid the girl who made him that way.  Anne was doing the same.  Sometimes being together isn't the best idea no matter how much you care for one another.   
I really enjoyed the story of the rulaskaI don't know a lot about Russian folklore and this series had definitely changed that.  I liked how she could be seen in very little amounts of water.  It's no wonder Anne that she was going crazy.  I liked how all the pieces fall together in this installment.  Everyone is connected somehow from the jewelry shop owner to the rulaska herself.  It's not something I even suspected at the start of the story.

The ending is the only thing that bothered me a little.  First, I still have no idea what Baba Yaga really wants from Anne.  Anne made a deal with her, but I don't think she even knows what she really has to do.  I'm guessing there will be another book to explain it all.  If not, I have no idea how the story really ended.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

A Need So BeautifulTitle: A Need So Beautiful
Author: Suzanne Young
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 252
Published: Available June 21, 2011 by Balzer and Bray
ISBN: 9780062008244
Source: ARC from Around The World Tours

Description: Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
There have been others before who’ve felt the Need, but they’re gone—erased from the memories of everyone whose lives they had touched. It's as though they never existed. This is the fate that awaits Charlotte. But the last thing Charlotte wants to do is disappear, to be Forgotten. She wants to stay with her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. She wishes she could just ignore the Need, but she can’t. And as everyone important in her life begins to slowly forget her, she has to decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences.

I Give This ...
This book was both frustrating and great all at the same time (well maybe not the same time).   I spent half the book wondering when it was going to get better and then the last half not able to put it down.

I had trouble with Charlotte at first.  She seems like such a ordinary person even with the need.  There didn't seem to be anything striking about her.  When the need strikes, it was played down quite a bit and even Charlotte's tries to write them off as asthma attacks.  Her rich best friend trying desperately to get daddy's attention seemed so cliche.  And I wasn't really found of the casual sexual relations throughout the book.  Especially in light of what Charlotte really is.

About half way through, I completely changed my mind.  I enjoyed learning what Charlotte really is and what is to become of her.  I liked how she struggles against it, even to the point that it physically makes her ill.  I started to enjoy her relationship with Harlin.  It seemed so physical at first, but I started to see the true depth especially at the end.  I was intrigued by the idea of those around her starting to forget her.  At first it's just the little moments, but then more.

In the end, I was surprised.  For a book that started out as nothing special, I would read it again just for the end.  The story wraps up so beautifully, but leaves room for me.  So, if there's another one...I will read it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

B & K's Reading Daze

I have two girls who love to read as much as I do.  Granted they are 5 and 3, so reading isn't exactly what they do.  I'm so excited that this love of mine seems to be passing on to them.  So B & K's Reading Daze highlights some of the books they have enjoyed over the past month.  These books are usually books we find at the library, although occasionally I will showcase some favorites that we own or whatever else they really enjoy.
I didn't get this post up last month.  It seems I schedule it but don't remember it until after my kids are asleep.  I don't want to go into their room and risk waking them up.  I managed to grab one for each of them tonight :)

K's book (5):

Giraffes Can't Dance
Title: Giraffe's Can't Dance
Author: Giles Andreae
Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees

Gerald the giraffe doesn't really have delusions of grandeur. He just wants to dance. But his knees are crooked and his legs are thin, and all the other animals mock him when he approaches the dance floor at the annual Jungle Dance. But an encouraging word from an unlikely source shows this glum giraffe that those who are different "just need a different song," and soon he is prancing and sashaying and boogying to moon music (with a cricket accompanist).

K loves this book and think it has a great message.  We love the pictures and the pictures are fantastic!

B's Book (3): 

Ten Tiny TicklesTitle: Ten Tiny Tickles
Author: Karen Katz

From one tiny tickle on a lovely little head to ten twirling tickles on tender tubby toes, this book counts up the number of tickles each member of the family gives from 1 to 10! This is a charming board book with a counting concept, too! Parents will love reading this interactive book to young children. 

B is probably getting a bit old for this one.  But she likes shorts books so she can get more than one before bed.  Plus, she likes book about babies.  And since she's learning to count, I think it helps!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Evercrossed (Kissed by an Angel #4) by Elizabeth Chandler

Evercrossed (Kissed by an Angel, #4)Title: Evercrossed
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Series: 4th in Kissed by an Angel
Pages: 288
Published: Available now from Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781442409149
Source: Publishers galley grab

Description: It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends. But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life.
As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost. But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her.

I Give This ...

First off, I half to be honest.  I would not have read this had it not been available to me through Simon and Schuster's galley grab program.  I liked the previous books for the most part, but didn't feel the story needed to go any further.

It's been 15 years since the first 3 books were written.  Granted the version I read was the 3-1 that was released in 2008 and I have no idea of any updates and modernization occurred.  But, I was surprised and how this one felt exactly the same as the previous.  It's like no time has passed.  Which was odd for me to read.  The previous 3 didn't have a modern feel to them at all, which I was ok with because I knew their age.  While, I'm glad this forth book had the same feel and the characters hadn't changed at all, I was expecting something more.

I actually didn't really like Ivy much during this book.  She spent so much time brooding over things that could have been.  After a year, you would think things would be more in the past.  I no longer bought the idea of a love than can transcend time and space.  She refused to accept that her life currently was actually pretty good.  Plus her friends were genuinely worried about her and she just continued to withdraw for them. I wasn't sure what to think of the idea of Tristan still watching over here.  His continued presence doesn't help her move on.  They both come across as very dependent people.

Despite all this, I continued to read it.  I wanted to know if Ivy really believed what she was trying to convince everyone else was true.  I wanted to know who that mysterious guy washed up on the beach really way.  Plus, I was actually really intrigued by the danger Beth kept picturing.  And all came crashing down with the mother of all cliffhangers.  Now I'm sure I've been roped into reading another book I probably should just pass on. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane #2) by Jaye Wells

The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, #2)Title: The Mage in Black
Author: Jaye Wells
Series: 2nd in Sabina Kane
Pages: 326
Published: Available now from Orbit
ISBN: 9781841497570
Source: Personal copy

Description: Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she's some kind of 'Chosen' who'll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn't care who chose her, she's not into destiny. But the mages aren't Sabina's only problem. In New York's Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she'd take a bite out of the Big Apple - but it looks like it wants to bite back.

I Give This ...

I have to be honest that I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this series.  Adult paranormal tends to be hit or miss with me, but this series has really surprised me.

I love that Sabina is so unsure of herself during this book.  Who wouldn't be when the only living family you thought you had wants you dead.  Add in a twin sister you never knew you had, who was brought up by the very race you were raised to hate.  I think it makes for some interesting dynamics in our lead character.  I love her back and forth relationship with Adam.  It's very real to me.  I LOVE her demon, Giguhl.  He is pretty much the perfect sidekick.

I liked the direction the story takes.   Maisie was an interesting addition to the cast of characters.  She seems to be the complete opposite of Sabina.  I enjoyed the magic lessons.  I particularly enjoyed the demon fighting rings and the scenes with Slade.  I still like Adam more, but Slade cause Sabina to react in some very emotional ways.

There wasn't a lot of interaction with the vampires with this one.  Which was ok because we get tension with werewolves, descent within the mages, and some interesting scenes with the fairies.  I really liked this book and can't wait to dig into Green-Eyed Demon.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.  Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
  • Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray
  • Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
  • Inside Out by Maria Snyder
  • Tempest Legacy by Nicole Peeler
Currently Reading: 
  • Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
Up This Week: 
  • Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
  • Green Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture JunkieI also want to mention that all my cover pictures link to Goodreads!

For Review:  

The Queen's PawnOriginal Sin (Personal Demons, #2)
  • The Queen's Pawn by Christy English
  • Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers


What I Wore to Save the World (Morgan Rawlinson, #3)Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3)

A Sweet DisorderDarklight (Wondrous Strange, #2)

Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)
  • What I Wore To Save The World by Maryrose Wood
  • Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
  • A Sweet Disorder by Jacqueline Kolosov
  • Darklight by Lesley Livingston
  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter


Garden Spells
  • Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Review: Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter #1) by Stephanie Dray

    Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, #1)Title: Lily of the Nile
    Author: Stephanie Dray
    Series: 1st in planned series
    Pages: 368
    Published: Available now from Berkley Trade
    ISBN: 9780425238554
    Source: Star Book Tours

    Description: Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers... To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?

    I Give This ...

    It's funny how books about the exact same time period and people can have totally different feels to them.  I've read Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran as well.  They basically begin and end at the exact same points.  While I like one slightly more than the other, the both were so different in style that if you enjoy Selene's story you should read them both.

    Selene felt young in this book and thus I think the book feels more young adult.  This book also had a touch of magic that I found I really enjoyed.  I still really enjoyed her character because she's still a princess even if she's been stripped of her titles.  She refuses to bow down to her captors and I think she eventually earned the respect.

    The relationships were different in this one which was hard for me to accept.  I found I liked the representation of Juba.  I found I liked how Octavian was represented the best.  He seemed almost crazy with his obsession with Cleopatra and it reflected a lot in how he dealt with Selene.

    I'm actually more excited to read the next in the series.  From the end of Cleopatra's Daughter, I wanted to know what happened to Selene next.  I can't wait to see what Stephanie Dray does with Song of The Nile.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Review: My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers #4) by Rachel Vincent

    My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers, #4)Title: My Soul To Steal
    Author: Rachel Vincent
    Series: 4th in Soul Screamers
    Pages: 343
    Published: Available now from Harlequin
    ISBN: 9780373210275
    Source: Netgalley

    Description: Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.  See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.  And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

    I Give This ...

    I was curious were the story was going to go after what happened in My Soul To Keep.  I really wasn't expecting to go on an emotional roller coaster.  It's funny how some emotions you can really identify with no matter what your age might be.

    I really felt for Kaylee.  She's trying so hard to deal with her own emotions and how she feels about Nash and his actions.  I don't blame her one bit for wanting to sort through all that.  I'm not sure I agree with the choice to stay away from Nash while he's coming off his addiction, but I understood why she did it.  I really was wrapped up in the way Nash was making her feel during this entire book.  

    Nash is your typical boy.  I was surprised he really seemed to think that everything would be fine after 2 weeks.  And I really hated that he could not understand why Kaylee did not like Sabine and his relationship.   It seemed perfectly reasonable to me.  And Sabine was a downright vicious character.  I liked her, but she was extreme.   Oddly enough I really disliked Todd during this story.  I wonder if he didn't have an ulterior motive for saying what he did.  I don't think he could truly believe that what he was saying was the best outcome for all.

    I find the greed demon (Avarti?) down right creepy.  He seems hell bent on getting Kaylee in the netherworld to torture forever.  I shudder at how he can take over anyone at will and uses them to toy with Kaylee.  Hopefully they can all figure out how to take care of that little problem (which I betting is the ultimate goal of the series).  I'm looking forward to the next one.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Review: The Human Obsession (Manufactured Identity, #3) by Heath Sommer

    The Human Obsession (Manufactured Identity, Book #3)Title: The Human Obsession
    Author: Heath Sommer
    Series: 3rd in Manufactured Identity
    Pages: 316
    Published: Available now from Tate Publishing
    ISBN: 9781616637606
    Source: Author sent for honest review

    Description: A year before retirement, Chief of Police Frank Murphy wants nothing more than to spend his golden years on HGTV marathons and endless tee-off times. What he gets is a string of abductions that makes Ted Bundy look like an amateur. The Human Obsession is the sequel to Heath Sommer's 2009 breakout psychological thriller The Manufactured Identity, where Murphy and hapless lovers Addy and John Joe scramble against inhuman odds and unpredictable twists to solve the riddles of murder, obsession, and human weakness. Focusing on the trial of Cameron Bo, alleged murderer and loony from Sommer's The Grand Delusion, The Human Obsession takes readers even deeper into the minds of Sommers' beloved and twisted characters. In the end, no one could have seen why those meant to protect and serve may be in the greatest danger of all.

    I Give This ...

    What really amazed me about this series after reading this one is the fact the books are entirely different from each other.  The contain a few of the same characters, but each one has a different feel.  They also have each provoked different emotions.   

    I wasn't expecting The Human Obsession to be so dark and gritty.  But, the author decided to take us farther into the mind of someone willing to commit acts that most humans can't even begin to imagine.  It was actually really hard for me to read at times because it effected me personally.  I have 2 little girls ages 5 and 3, which also fit the profiles of some of the victims in the story.  It's one of those things that we don't want to ever think about, but happens way more than we care to admit.

    I felt sorry for Murphy.  He's gone through so much.  Not only does he finally have to go through the trial of Cameron Bo, but also deals with a dieing son.  On top of that, the murders begin and an outrages community wants a suspect.  It's amazing he doesn't completely crack.  I did find his changing views on what makes a person "crazy", to be really interesting.

    Once again, I find that heavy psychology in this story to be fascinating.  I liked the trial portions that dealt with Cameron Bo and whether he really knew what he was doing or not.  I also liked being in the mind of the killer, no matter how hard it was for me to read.

    I'm kind of hoping there might be a 4th book.  While I feel the story is done, I was left wondering about a couple of things.  First the boy found in the forest doesn't get the ending I though he deserved.  I wanted to know what happened after that, not to mention John Joe's involvement.  I also wanted to know more about the killer.  We've learned so much about all the other characters, I felt a little cheated when it came to him.  

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    CLOSED: CSN Stores Giveaway

    What's your idea of a perfect reading spot?  For me it's all about lighting and comfort.  I've always wanted a window seat with big windows and lots of pillows.  I could spend all day reading in the sunlight.

    Since, I don't have the coveted window seat, I spend a lot time reading in bed or the bathtub (nothing beats a hot bubble bath and a good book).  My bedside table lamps get a lot of use for this very reason.   

    So in honor of this, I have a $40 gift card to CSN stores for 1 lucky person.   Perhaps you would like to get some new things to furnish or update your perfect reading spot.   Or maybe you just need something new.  To enter just fill out the form below.  Contest open to US and Canada residents 18 and over.  It will end March 25, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Review: Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2) by Nicole Peeler

    Tracking the Tempest (Jane True, #2)Title: Tracking The Tempest
    Author: Nicole Peeler
    Series: 2nd in Jane True
    Pages: 320
    Published: Available now from Orbit
    ISBN: 978031605657
    Source: personal copy

    Description:  Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucking boyfriend - can't let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane's life is thrown off course. Ryu's well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane's surprise...

    I Give This ...

    You know those series that you read the first book, and you like it ok.  So, you decide to reserve judgment until after you've read the second.  And then you are really glad you did because it's much better than the first.  That was the case with Tracking The Tempest.

    I liked Jane's character quite a bit more in this one.  She still has all the defining qualities that I liked about her in the first book, but add some backbone.  She refuses to be treated like a weakling, not matter what the others think of her and her powers.  I really like that.  I also enjoyed the fact that she is half human actually gave her the insight to be able to understand things the others couldn't.  I enjoyed her relationship with Ryu the most.  It becomes something other than just physical. I think was really hard for her to come to terms with all of that.

    I liked that the storyline seems to have more direction.  I had a feeling after the first book were it was going to go.  But, it's always nice to get that reassurance.  I like how much the culprit seems to be working in the shadows, never truly revealing themselves.  I'm curious as to what will happen next.

    I'm looking forward to the next in the series and what direction the story will take!


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