Friday, March 30, 2012

Feature and Follow

Q: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

I occasionally will read more than one book at a time.  But 95% of the time I read one.  I don't listen to audiobooks and usually am either reading one physical copy or a book on my kindle.  I'm just not a more than one book person.  I imagine that I would get my characters and plots lines confused.  I occasionally do that when I get a stack of reviews to catch up on lol.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review - Torrent (River of Time #3) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Torrent (River of Time, #3)Title: Torrent
Author: Lisa Bergren
Series: 3rd (Waterfall, Cascade)
Pages: 388
Published: September 1st 2011 by David C. Cook 
ISBN:  9781434764294
Source: Sent for honest review

Description: Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.   But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.   

I Give This ...

Wow, what a rush.  This book is a nonstop thrill ride from beginning to end.  The action never stops.  Just when you think the characters might get a break, the next things comes rushing in. 

I still love Lia and Gabi.  I enjoy how the interact with those around them and totally embrace the time period.  They are comfortable with who they are and I think that's the key to their ability to adapt.  I love that Gabi especially feels she has to make one last stand to be able to fully embrace living in the past.  She wants a little bit of peace and knows she can't do that with who is in residence at the castle next door.

I also loved the extremes of this book.  Gabi is forced to agreeing to marry a man that is not Marcello but someone Gabi is having a hard time admitting she might be just a bit attracted too.  This whole section of the book had me practically biting my nails (and it's one of my pet peeves).  I was so happy with the way things worked out.

The last stand was a perfect ending to the story.  It ended basically were it started.  I'm happy with the way things turned out for the most part.  The only aspect of the story that bothered me is a spoiler.  Basically, I felt like they may have messed with the timeline a little too much.  I get why they did it.  It just felt like entirely selfish reasons.  I can't imagine that it would have been taken as easily as the person did in the story either.

I completely recommend this series.  Especially those who enjoyed the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  Or maybe those who want to read that series, but are totally intimidated by their size and length of series lol.  I also would recommend it for those who love historical fiction.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review - Starters (Starters #1) by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters, #1)Title: Starters
Author: Lissa Price
Series: 1st
Pages: 368
Published: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
ISBN: 9780385742375
Source: Netgalley

Description: Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.  He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .  

I Give This ...

I think my expectation for this book ran a little rampant.  For the longest time all we had was this creepy cover and a really vague description.  Enough to peek my interest to the extreme.  I jumped at the chance to read it.  

I have to admit I was a little disappointed at first.  The story seemed a little slow.  I was just going with the flow.  I liked Callie.  I understood her reasons for doing something so desperate to guarantee some sort of future for herself and her brother.  I liked that she hesitated on working with Prime Destinations.  If it sounds to good to be true it usually is.  But, she becomes desperate.  I liked how she handled the situation when she realized she was back in control of her own body but living her renters life.  Especially as she learns more about her renter.

I thought the idea of the Enders being able to rent teenage bodies was just appalling.  Sure, they try to make the teens feel like their are rules, but who really had the control here?  And the money?  I was completely not surprised that the people behind Prime had a darker alternative motive for wanting to get the program off the ground.  I kept reading because that's the part of the story that intrigued me the most.  That there were all these teens running around, and how could you be sure who was really in the body.

I think the idea of this dystopian world was harder to grasp.   It seems like a lot more time had passed in books like this.  A year just doesn't seem like enough for the world to have entered into a society such as this.  Maybe I'm wrong though.  I just didn't feel the world.

I liked it enough to round up and give it a 4 and I will be reading the next in the series!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie Review

Final Hunger Games Poster 
I had high hopes for this movie.   I jumped on the bandwagon early (I thought I was late, but realized I read this book less than a year after coming out), so it's been a long wait for the movie.  For me it had highs and lows.  I didn't love it, but obviously didn't hate it either.  Would I see it again in the theater, probably.  Will I buy it...absolutely.

  • The beginning.   I actually teared up when Primrose's name was called and Katniss volunteered.   
  • The capitol and it's people.   I know my husband was surprised by the colors, etc.  But, I thought it was perfect.
  • The gamekeepers, Seneca, Claudius, and Caesar.  I love the whole behind the scenes of the games stuff.  It's something we don't see in the book but worked really well on the screen.   It showed a different aspect in how the games worked.
  • Cinna - I wasn't sure how Lenny Kravitz would do with this but he surprised me.
  • Katniss and her raw emotion moments.  She hides them so well most of the time.  Her outbursts were perfect.   I loved how she grabs on to Gale, her uncontrollable shaking before she enters the tube to the games, her crying after Rue dies.   I especially loved her salute to district 11 (another moment I teared up).
  • President Snow - He's not in the book hardly at all.  But, I loved his inclusion in the movie.  Also loved how quite a few of his scenes happen in his rose garden.
  • The screenplay - I love the Suzanne Collins got to help with this.   It really felt like the book in most places.  
 What was So-So
  • The movie overall was really slow.  I thought the beginning might be.  It didn't drag, but it definitely wasn't fast paced.
  • The games as a whole.  I was expecting it to be toned down to get the PG-13 rating.  But the games seemed a little...well boring.  Katniss doesn't almost die from dehydration. Peeta's knife wound doesn't seem as bad as it was in the book.   The water doesn't dry up to force them to the lake.  There were a few things that I felt could have been done differently.
  • The romance between Katniss and Peeta.  It feels all contrived for the games, and I didn't buy it at all.   We know Peeta actually is in love with Katniss and we know that Katniss is acting but feels it too.  On the screen the romance seemed barely touched on when its a big part of the story and it felt fake.
  • The ending felt off to me.  I missed the stuff that happened right after the games (in the hospital).

Didn't Like:
  • The mutations at the end.   I was afraid of those being off.  But, I didn't expect them to look like the dogs from Ghostbusters.  It was disappointing.
  • I know in the book Katniss and her mother have issues, but I never felt like she hated her.  In the movie it was like she down right despised her.  
  • The story of the bread.  I wish they would have put it all in one place.   I didn't like the mini flashbacks.  It took almost the whole movie to piece together that one little scene.

Monday, March 26, 2012

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!

It's spring break!!  Who knew that I would look forward to it so much.  Nothing much planned.  The kids are just enjoying the weather.  I will be catching up on reading, house work, and the blog!   

Read Last Week:
  • Betrayal by Lee Nichols
  • Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Currently Reading: 
  • Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Up This Week: 
  • Ravenstoke by Augusta Blythe
  • The Land of Tears by Amber Riley
  • The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!
For Review:   
The Flower ReaderDark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)
  • The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas
  • Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep (this is my 2nd copy.  My first was an ebook, so I put this on tour at Around The World ARC Tours)


    The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

    • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  (ebook, I really wanted to reread it and my copy is with a friend)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review - Cascade (River of Time #2) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Cascade (River of Time, #2)Title: Cascade
Author: Lisa Bergren
Series: 2nd (Waterfall)
Pages: 399
Published: June 1st 2011 by David C. Cook
ISBN: 9781434764317
Source: Author sent for honest review

Description: Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”  Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.  But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

 I Give This ...

I decided after my enjoyment of the first book in this series that I couldn't let the other two linger on my kindle for very long.  They called to me.  So I dived into Cascade with high hopes.  I was not disappointed.

This book pretty much starts were the last one ended.  Gabi and Lia are back in their own time period.  But, it doesn't take long for her to long to go back.  There's something about the past that calls to her.  I don't think it's just Marcello.  I think both girls adapted so readily to the ways of the past, that it would probably be extremely hard to come back to the present.  I especially think that enjoyed the difference they made.  They like having knowledge of the future and being seen as the "she-wolves".  I think it was addicting for both of them.  

The events of this book were fast past and interesting.  Poor Gabi never catches a break.  She's become the people's hero and the enemies will go to great lengths to guarantee her demise.   I think Gabi especially forgets what life was like for those living in this time period.  Torture isn't a very common word used in civilized countries nowadays.  But, Gabi learns first hand what that might mean in Florentine.  I loved the dramatic rescue  and I was especially intrigued by the new character introduced throughout this time.  I'm still not sure who's side him might really be on.

I loved the progression of Gabi and Marcello's relationship.  For Marcello, their are no doubts.  But, Gabi seems to have a hard time with what's normal now compared to what's normal then.  I think deep down, she knows she wants to stay.  I just never really understood her hesitation.  I think her sister and her mother could adapt just as easily.  I'm not sure what Gabi think is holding them all to the present day, besides the hope of something else.

I've always loved historical fiction, and time travel seems to mix well with it.  I can's wait to read the last in this series.  And then, I might have to seek out some more historical fiction with time travel!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review - Absolutely, Positively (Lucy Valentine #3) by Heather Webber

Absolutely, Positively (Lucy Valentine, #3)Title: Absolutely, Positively
Author: Heather Webber
Pages: 320
Published: February 1st 2011 by St. Martin's
ISBN: 9780312946159
Source: Personal Copy

Discroption: Exposed” by a Boston Herald reporter, Lucy is suddenly the talk of the town. Long back-story short: Even though the rest of her Valentine ancestors were blessed by Cupid with psychic abilities, Lucy’s only special power lies in her ability to find things. This skill has proven quite a blessing for those who come to her matchmaking agency in search of finding their long-lost loves. Now that Lucy’s secret is out, she has more new clients than she knows what to do with. But soon a certain man of mystery steals Lucy’s spotlight…No, it’s not Sean Donahue, the sexy fireman-turned-private-eye who’s stolen Lucy’s heart. It’s a masked man in a cowboy hat, dubbed “The Lone Ranger,” who’s been throwing handfuls of cash across the Common. Now all of Beantown’s abuzz. Can Lucy unmask the mysterious money man, track down all her clients’ old flames, and turn up the heat on her love life? Absolutely, positively…

I Give This ...


 I hate it when I can't think of a good reason when I've let a book I know I will enjoy sitting on my shelf for so long.  Especially when it's a series book that I have enjoyed.  Such is the case with Absolutely, Positively.

Thankfully, I was able to dive right into this book and be reminded about the characters I love.  Lucy is so great when she's faced with the being in love.  It's not something she's comfortable or familiar with.  Her family is cursed after all.  I love that Sean takes it all in stride and seems to know exactly when Lucy needs more and when she doesn't.  Even their animals seem to be so in tune to each other.  You would think that this perfect scenario might get cheesy, but it's doesn't. 

I also really enjoyed the dash of mystery thrown into each story.  Lucy used her abilities to help those around her.  I liked how the two mysteries she solves seem to vastly different.  I also like how each case seems to get equal attention in the book.  Neither is overshadowed by the other.  I feel like it's a perfect balance between light romance and mystery.

The only disappointing part of this book....there isn't another one at this time.  While I think this book ended on a good note, I would like another one.  The characters are still fresh and I think have something more to offer readers.  I hope the author comes back to this series soon! 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review - Perception (Clarity #2) by Kim Harrington

Perception (Clarity, #2)Title: Perception
Author: Kim Harrington
Series: 2nd (Clarity)
Pages: 288
Published:  March 1st 2012 by Scholastic
ISBN:  9780545230537
Source: Around The World Tours

Description:  Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.  Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.  But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?  One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

 I Give This ...

There's something about Clare that will keep me coming back for more.  I love her character.  I find her endearing, charming, and all around great person to read about.

While Clare might not like the spotlight the events of book one have put her under, I actually think it's helped her come out of her shell a little bit.  She seems to know who to trust overall, even though events lead to doubt those around her.  I love that she knows what type of people the popular girls are, but basks in the limelight just a little bit.  I think it helps see what a wonderful person she is.  I'm also very happy to see that she's made some friends outside of Justin and her brother.

I love this new popularity in YA mysteries.  It's always been one of my favorites genres, but something that doesn't get a lot of play in the young adult world.  I like the element of Clare's families abilities.  It's a different twist to the story.  It's not just good old fashioned detective work that gets the mystery solved.  I also enjoyed the Clare likes to help people with the problems to the point that it draws some extremely unwanted attention to herself.  I had it pegged who the culprit was, but I still enjoyed the buildup to get there.

One of my favorites parts of this story was the romance.  I like Justin, but I'm so proud of Clare for being so hesitant when he wants to get back together.  Although, I was surprised to learn the true circumstances on the night he cheated.   I don't think it changed my opinion of him very much though.  Probably because I love Gabriel.   I love that he doesn't push Clare into making a decision.  But, he is sure to tell exactly were she stands and what he wants.   I think Clare needed that push to make a decision.  

Great read and I can't wait for the next one!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review - The Last Echo (The Body Finder #3) by Kimberly Derting

The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3)Title: The Last Echo
Author: Kimberly Derting
Pages: 358
Published: April 17th 2012 by HarperCollins 
ISBN: 9780062082190
Source: Around The World Tours

Description:  Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet's talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it's Violet's job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by "the girlfriend collector" she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet may have caught his eye....

I Give This ...

I was really looking forward to this latest installment in this series.  It's filled a little void I've had since I've basically stopped reading adult mysteries/thrillers.  And while this book was a great read overall, there were some elements to the story that bothered me a little bit.

I enjoyed this new group that Violet is working with.  I think she needs to be around people that are like her.  It might help her to better accept her abilities and know how to use them to help those around her.  I was intrigued that we know as little about this group as Violet does.  Everyone of there abilities is different, and some are better at hiding their true capabilities.  I also thought the dynamics of the group was interesting.  Turns out there's some connections there that I did not see coming.

I didn't really enjoy how this new group gets in the way of Violet's relationships.  Her friends know nothing about her ability, so she's constantly lying to her friends.  Jay may know about her abilities, but she can't tell that about what the group does.  I didn't get enough of Jay in this book.  First, because Violet is off working all the time.  The story focuses on that and what it is doing for Violet.  Second, I was really disappointed that the dreaded love triangle was introduced.  Don't get me wrong, I like Rafe.  But, I like Jay and Violet MORE.   Thankfully, I think it was over before it could ever really get started.  It just was a blow to the story.   

While, I found the book was the most predictable of the three, there were enough surprises to keep me on my toes.  I enjoyed the storyline with gang leader (I found him creepier than the serial killer).  Plus, there are some twists at the end that I totally love.  I'm completely looking forward to the next book in the series.


Monday, March 19, 2012

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!
One week!!  That's what's left of school before spring break.  I'm so looking forward to it.  I feel like this family has been running non stop since January.  Granted we have to get this week first, and its shaping up to be just a busy as the previous ones.   
Read Last Week:
  • Starters by Lissa Price
  • Torrent by Lisa Bergren
Currently Reading: 
  • Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Up This Week: 
  • Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
  • Ravenstoke by Augusta Blythe

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!
For Review:   
  • Wanted by Heidi Ayarbe


A Rush of Wings (The Maker's Song, #1)
  •  A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review - Asenath by Anna Patricio

AsenathTitle: Asenath
Author: Anna Patricio
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 224
Published: September 24th 2011 by Imajin Books
ISBN:  9781926997261
Source: Sent for honest review

Description: Two Destinies...One Journey of Love.  In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.  When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.   Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison.  Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?

I Give This ...

I would think your enjoyment of this book might depend on what you expect from your historical fiction.  If you want gossip, intrigue, and scandal this is not it.  If your looking for an overall sweet story about a biblical figure that very little is known, than this is for you.

I must confess, prior to reading this, I don't think I knew that Joseph had a wife.  Since Joseph was such a devote follower of God, I don't see him willingly taking a wife who followed pagan gods.  So, in all reality, I imagine that it might have been love that drew them together.  Knowing nothing about Asenath, and only the basics about Joseph, this story seems entirely plausible.  

I liked that the story included all the basic information about Joseph that I already knew.  But sticking to the facts, it made Asenath seem more plausible.  I enjoyed her background story.  Kidnapped and orphaned at a young age, she was then raised in the temples.  She caught the eye of some nobility, who then decided to adopt her (this was the only part of the story that I found odd).   While she grows up with wealth and prestige, she never gives up her background.  She always helps those who are less fortunate and despises those around her who do nothing.  Maybe that's drew her to Joseph.  They were kindred souls. 

While the story never really feels like it pushing a religious agenda, it's definitely an undertone.  It's almost like there's a divine energy that pushed Asenath and Joseph together.  And maybe there was.   Asenath put up with a lot to be with him, and yet she never gave up on the idea.  She went against her customs to get her wish.

A light read for sure.   It didn't contain many of the elements that make historical fiction intriguing.  But, I found that I enjoyed it.  Plus, it was a fast read!    


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review - Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser

Pieces of UsTitle: Pieces of Us
Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 336
Published: March 8th 2012 by Flux
ISBN: 9780738721644
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: 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.  

I Give This ...

This story was gritty and dirty, and everything I hope my girls never have to go through as teens.  Every character in this story is so broken, that's its hard to imagine any hope in their lives.

I was the most intrigued by Katie.  She seemed to have the perfect teen life.  But, it seems her mom had her on such a pedestal she forgot to teach her the basics.  When her world comes crashing down around her, she does everything she can to stay on top.  Even when it means sacrificing her own pride and dignity.  It was heartbreaking to watch her suffering.  It seemed so unnecessary.  Her sister I also felt sorry for.  After spending her entire life in her sisters shadow and constantly being made to feel inferior, it's no wonder that she acts the way she does when her sister falls from grace.   She's never been the one on top.  It would be hard to give that feeling up when you've never had it before.

I had a harder time with the males in the story.  Alex was so hard to like.  I knew that he was two-faced, bit I just could not see what Katie saw in him.  In the end he treated her no better than he treated any other women in his life.    I was disgusted with him.  Kyle was the only one I think might be able to come out of this travesty somewhat normal.  He recognized how screwed up everything was.   He seemed to be making moves to fix the problems in his life.

I admired the author's willingness to take on such a wide range of dirty topics found in this novel.  But, I honestly found it too much to stomach at times.   I'm not one to shy away from this type of stuff, but sometimes it's just too much.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review - Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Between the Sea and SkyTitle: Between Sea and Sky
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 229
Published: October 25th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
ISBN:  9781599904344
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alander, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alander band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air. 

I Give This ...

This was a different sort of read for me.  I think I've gotten to the point were I expect my young adult fantasy to be a little more more gritty.  This story was simple, so I honestly felt like it was almost more middle grade fiction despite the age of the characters.   I think there was so much more that could have been done with this story.

The mythology was there.  It's one of the more interesting premises for mermaids that I've read.   Mermaid's openly exist with humans.  In fact, the siren's readily mix with them.   Not every mermaid can become a siren, and sirens are more drawn to humans than any other mermaid.  All mermaids can change into humans, although it causes them great pain with every step they take on human feet.   I got the impression that siren's are better able to withstand that pain.  A siren is also powerful because all her power is trapped in her belt (which other mermaids don't have).  She may give her belt freely to a human, or it can be forcefully taken from her.  But, once she does, the pain being human causes her is gone.

When Dosinia disappears, Esmerine is convinced that she did not give up her belt of her own freewill.  She's determined to find out what really happened.  What I did think was interesting was her thoughts may have been on finding Dosinia, but she sure made a beeline for finding Alander first.  It felt like she needed that excuse to seek him out.  I did admire her determination to find her sister.   Being a mermaid, I would think she would have a great connection to the ocean.  And to travel so far from it shows how much she wanted to see her sister (or was it to spend more time with Alander).

The story seemed frightfully simple despite my interest in it.  And Esmerine has all these thoughts on finding her sister, but no real way to find her.  She didn't really think it through.  Sometimes it felt like she way saying to she would do something in hopes of getting Alander to help her.  It was a little frustrating.   

In the end, the story wasn't all that I hoped that it would be.  But, it wasn't all bad either.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Historical Fiction Books


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  If your curious about this meme, visit Top Ten Tuesday where they have previous topics and upcoming topics listed as well.
Today's topic is our top 10 in any genre.  I picked historical fiction.  I love historical fiction, but I'm not very well read in it.  I would love to hear your favorite if you like the genre.  This are my top 10 in no particular order!
1. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon - The series is a list in itself.  I particularly recommend book 1-3.   This will give you a history lesson covering many countries and time periods.  LOVE IT!
2. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet - I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book.  It's really not like most historical fiction.  But, I found that I read it much fast that I anticipated.  And, I really liked it.

3. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran - This has made a lot of my lists.  And for good reason.  I think its a wonderful book and recommend it to anybody who likes historical fiction (and for those who don't).
 4. The Queen's of England series  by Jean Plaidy - I know these aren't literary genius.  But, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for England's royalty.  And this series is probably what started it (or maybe its my English grandmother). 
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin - One of the few classics that I've read and enjoyed.    

Since this list actually involves more than 10 books, I leave it at that.   Would love

Monday, March 12, 2012

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 think spring is in the air!  While, we've had a very mild winter here in the Rockies, nothing beats those first spring like days.   Thursday and Friday last week for hard days at school.  The weather was gorgeous and spring break is right around the corner.   Needless to say, the kids are having a hard time staying in there seats!  Hopefully, we can all buckle down for two more weeks of learning (either that or the weather turns nasty again).
Read Last Week:
  • Cascade by Lisa Bergren
  • The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
  • Perception by Kim Harrington
Currently Reading: 
  • Starters by Lissa Price

Up This Week: 
  • Torrent by Lisa Bergren
  • Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox!

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

For Review: 

WanderloveThe Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, #2)
The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3)Perception (Clarity, #2)
  • Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
  • The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
  • The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting (Around The World Tours)
  • Perception by Kim Harrington (Around The World Tours)

In the Blood (The Maker's Song, #2)Beneath the Skin (The Maker's Song, #3)
  • In The Blood by Adrian Phoenix
  • Beneath the Skin by Adrian Phoenix

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Review - Allegiance (Legacy #2) by Cayla Kluver

    Allegiance Title: Allegiance
    Author: Cayla Kluver
    Series: 2nd (Legacy)
    Pages: 490
    Published: February 28th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
    ISBN: 9780373210435
    Source: Publisher via Netgalley

    Description:  He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.  An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return… Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica—until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.  Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn….

     I Give This ...


    I was really looking forward to this book.   Legacy had everything that I look for in a novel, including fantasy, romance, and that historical novel feel.   Asking this book to live up to the story the first one created for me was a daunting task.   While at times the story felt long and maybe a little drawn out, the overall story was wonderful.

    I still enjoyed Alera's character, although I felt like she wasn't half the queen I thought she could be for most of the book.  I know she didn't want any of these, and more important she is in love with Narian.   But, I think she wasn't doing her character any justice by defying the rules and protection that people laid out for her.   And by wallowing in her own self pity, she wasn't showing the people what a strong person she could be.   Thankfully, she eventually steps out of that cocoon that she's built around herself.   We, the readers get an excellent view of the powerful person she grows to be.  And I can't wait for the people to figure that out as well.

    I had a hard time wrapping my mind around what Narian was doing.  It sometimes felt like he was doing this just because there was a prophecy that said he did this.  I understood that the Overlord had some serious leverage over him.   But, what was keeping him there later. when the threat had been removed?   I was pleased to see that even when we couldn't see it, every move he made was to put Alera in a better position.   He was constantly fighting for her life.   A lot of lives were lost to protect hers.   A horrible position to be in no doubt, but to Narian nobody else mattered.

    The character that surprised me the most was Steldor.  I had mixed feeling on him at the end of Legacy.   But, by the end of this book, part of me really hoped that Alera would give him half a chance.   He may have wanted to be king, but I honestly think that he wanted Alera more.  I don't think he was use to having to chase her.   Everything came so easily to him, and it really bothered him that Alera was the one thing that he couldn't completely had.

    It seems like a lot time is covered in this book and it's sometimes difficult to follow.  It's also a little gruesome to the end.  The author spares us quite a bit of details, but leaves plenty the imagination.  War isn't pretty.  And in this magical land, it can be more than bloody.  We were told repeatedly how the Overlord would make everyone suffer.   I apparently didn't really believe it (or couldn't imagine it).  

    I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this series with the next book.  The story went in a direction that I honestly wasn't expecting, so I'm curious as to what will happen next.    


    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Review - The Other Countess (The Lacey Chronicles #1) by Eve Edwards

    The Other Countess (The Lacey Chronicles #1)Title: The Other Countess
    Author: Eve Edwards
    Series: 1st
    Pages: 352
    Published: July 12th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
    ISBN: 9780385740890
    Source: Personal Copy 

    Description:  England, 1582   Ellie—Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime—possesses a worthless title, but her feisty spirit captivates the elite of the Queen's court—especially the dashing new Earl of Dorset. William Lacey, Earl of Dorset, has inherited his father's title—and his financial ruin. Now Will must seek a wealthy bride and restore his family's fortune. If only he hadn't fallen for the beautiful but penniless Ellie . . .Sparks fly whenever Ellie and Will are together, but circumstances—and the conniving interference of others—threaten to keep them apart.

     I Give This ...

    I've been eying this series foreverAt first it seemed to be published only in the UK and I was debating an order from Book Depository.  But, then I found out that it would eventually be a US release as well.  I was happy to say the lease.  This type of historical fiction in one of my weaknesses.

    I liked both main characters immensely.  I thought the lifestyle that Ellie lives was interesting.  She's got the title, but nothing to back it up.  In the eyes of those powerful at court, she not much better than a peasant.  Especially when you factor that her father is seen as some what of a "leach".  I was really intrigued by the fact that he studied alchemy.  It's a subject that I'm not readily familiar with.  It was interesting to read how he was viewed by others in society.  I loved that Ellie sometimes despised what her father did and the position it often put her in.  I also loved that in spite of all that, she would do anything for him.

    I loved William!  I love it when a character does exactly what I think he should.  He may be an ass at times to Ellie, but I know he's thinking of what's happened to him in the past.  I also love that he realizes his mistakes and is man enough to admit them AND apologize to her for it.  And as much as I hate it, it fits with this time period that he denies his feeling and goes with what is expected of him.    He knows his family and his lands are at stake.  

    I loved the secondary characters in this as well.  Lady Jane turned out to be far more of an asset to the story than I thought.  And her brother was down right wicked.   I was saddened by turn of events at the end, but thought the story ended just the way it should.  It makes me excited that I already have a review copy of book two in this series on my kindle!


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