Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia

Angel Star

Title: Angel Star
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Published: May 2010
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780982500538
Source: ARC from Around The World Tours

Description: Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows. Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

This book has a very different feel than a lot of young adult books out there right now. It explored a lot of different issues within it's pages. Yet, it never seems overwhelming. In fact, I felt it wasn't enough. I loved Teagan. She seems like the typical teenager trying to find her place without compromising who she is. Although, I never quite understood why she had so few friends, and why Brynn was so nasty to her (I have an idea though). She never seemed lonely though. Her best friend Claire was great. She reminded me a lot of my best friend in high school who managed to get me into lots of trouble. And Garreth...I've got a pretty good mental picture of him :). There's also the villain of the story that also has a pretty interesting draw to him. Can he be saved?
I think my favorite parts of this books were the descriptions. The author has a fantastic way with words. The story does a wonderful job of portraying the angels. It makes them feel very real and impressive. I also enjoyed the thoughts on judgements and heaven. Nothing felt over the top. The only draw back I felt was probably my own fault. I had to go back and reread a couple times because I was confused at what happened. I think I was rushing the story a little. A wonderful new addition to the young adult books about angels!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

Photobucket     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:
     That's when it happens.  The moment of death is full of heat and sound and pain bigger than anything, a funnel of burning heat splitting me in two, something searing and scorching and tearing, and if screaming were a feeling it would be this.

~ Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is now brought to you by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books!

What a great reading week I had!  I managed to get in 4 wonderful books!

First off, I read Fire by Kristin Cashore.  I had high hopes for this one and it did not disappoint.  It was wonderful.  It did start out a little slow and I could do without the women's agenda the author seems to have.  But, a great story and characters you can't help but love.

Next I read, Angel Star  by Jennifer Murgia.  Impressive book from a debut author.  The descriptions are great.  I can't wait to read more!

My next book was Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey.  Before this one, I thought I was so over vampires.  I was wrong.  I recommend this to just about everyone!

I finished the week with Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt.  It was such a cute, Disney princess type, book.  I loved it.  I recommend this to anyone who use to wish they were a princess (and even those who still do lol!)!

I plan on starting Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs today.  I can't wait for this one.  Each book in this series has gotten better.  I'll finish out the week with Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and then either (or if there's time both) Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson or Incarceron  by Catherine Fisher.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In My Mailbox

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

For Review:

Angel Star     Hearts at Stake (The Drake Chronicles, #1)

  • Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia (Around the World Tours)
  • Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey (Around the World Tours)


Mr. Darcy, VampyreFallen (Fallen, #1)Rampant (Killer Unicorns, #1)Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher 
Girls, #2)
  • Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate
  • Rampant by Diane Peterfeund
  • Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy by Ally Carter

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!

If you are new here, Welcome! I've put a lot of work into this blog and I hope you enjoy it.

If you followed me here, I want to THANK YOU for putting up with this move.

I hope everyone who followed my old blog will continue to follow my new site. Everything is still here, just currently a little messed up in areas. I will work on getting everything fixed over the next week or so. I'm now using google friend connect, so please follow me if you would like. Please also remember to update your url's if you follow me using google reader, etc.Again, thanks for reading!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1) by Eden Maguire

Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1)

Title: Jonas (Beautiful Dead)
Author: Eden Maguire
Published: republished March 1, 2010
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781402239441
Source: ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire

Description: Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss.   Darina, Phoenix's grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can't escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head...   And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. He tells her that she must help Jonas - the first of the four to die - right the wrong linked with his death. Only with her help can Jonas finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

I really wanted to like this book, and for the most part I did.  It was a fast and easy read.  Darina seemed a bit extreme to me at first (maybe I'm growing tired of the love-struck teenager role?).  But, she quickly grew on me.  She has a lot of backbone for a teenager.  I was impressed with the was she handled herself in a lot of the situations.  She also seemed genuinely concerned for a friend.  She knew that helping Jonas would also be helping her estranged best friend (her name escapes me at the moment).  I was not impressed with her parents, but I could see that being normal with a step-parent in the picture(another running theme is teen fiction).  The 4 dead teens and their "group" also make for interesting characters.  They added humor and definitely some suspense and terror to the story.  Although I wonder how they expected to right the wrongs associated with their deaths without Darina.  It's almost like they knew she would come help them.  I loved the idea of the angel wing tattoos marking them according to how they died.  It was an interesting idea to the story.
Now, there were a couple things that bring this book down for me.  First, the use of the word zombie.  When I think of zombie, I think of the living dead.  That's not what these people are.  They are more like ghosts with actual bodies.  Second, I really disliked the ending for some reason.  I was not surprised with the circumstances surrounding Jonas' death.  But, I thought he could have been vindicated differently.  I understood the feelings behind the extreme actions that brought about the ending.  It just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  It felt over the top.  Last, but really not important, I wish the book was a little longer.  I felt like all the action took place way to fast.

 As part of the Beautiful Dead blog tour, here are links to other reviews by fellow bloggers! 

My Ever Expanding Library22-Mar
Bri Meets Books22-Mar
Book Loons22-Mar
The Book Lush23-Mar
Bran Hambric Fan Blog24-Mar
Red Headed Book Child 24-Mar
Book Blather25-Mar
Inside The Mind25-Mar
National Children's Book Examiner26-Mar
Babbling About Books, and More26-Mar
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf 26-Mar

And if you are interested in reading the first chapter

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Inkspell (Inkheart, #2) by Cornelia Funke

Inkspell (Inkheart, #2)

Title: Inkspell
Author: Cornelia Funke
Published: October 2005
Pages: 635
ISBN: 9780439554008
Source: Library

Description: Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of Inkheart, the book whose characters came to life - and changed her life forever.

But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the original tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the magical ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval inkscape once more.   Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long both are caught inside the book, too. There they meet Inkheart's author, Fenoglio, now living within his own story. But the tale is much changed, and threatening to evolve in ways none of them would have ever imagined. Will Meggie, Farid, and Fenoglio manage to write the wrongs of a charmed world? Or is their story on the brink of a very bad ending?

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I have to admit that I didn't jump out and read this because I didn't think Inkheart was all that great.  But, I wanted to know how the story ended.  So, I finally picked this one up.  I'm very glad that I did.  The story was much richer than the first book.   It was written better with the characters coming to life more.  Maybe it's because we finally get a look at the world that everybody was willing to go to such lengths for.  It's almost like the author was able to write about a fantasy world better than the real one.  I found the danger more real and the bad guys gave off more of that evil persona.  I was just overall more impressed with this one.   Believe me, I will be picking up the last in the series soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven, #4) by Brandon Mull

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven, #4)

Title: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
Author: Brandon Mull
Published: March 2009
Pages: 535
ISBN: 9781606410424
Source: Library book

Description: Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton's Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth? The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I gave it 4 stars but I'm tempted to give it more... it's only real draw back is that it's long.  Which doesn't have to be a bad thing, it just doesn't have the race until the end, need to read it feel.  But, besides that, I love this series.  What I do find odd is that I love the mythical creatures in this series more than I love the characters.  The characters are well executed though, and have plenty of appeal.  But, for some reason, I just love the fantasy.  The author has created this tightly woven world of mythical races.  Everything has an explanation that fits in with each race.  And, while those little details may seem like they dont' matter, it's what makes the story real.  The author has created a completely functioning different world within our own.  And, just when it seems like we've reached an ending point of new characters, the author adds a new one.  It's never overwhelming though.  I always want more.   I have really enjoyed watching Seth and Kendra evolve with the powers they have been granted by very different races withing their grandparents preserve.  And it will be interesting to see how they work together to use them.   I can't wait to read the next (and what I think will be the last) in this series!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

teasertuesdays31 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:
     And then, of course, Brigan appeared in the doorway to say hello to his mother and to bring Fire back to her horse, and immediately Fire felt herself revert to a child.  Some part of her brain went missing whenever this soldier came near.  It froze from his coldness.

~ Fire by Kristin Cashore

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is now brought to you by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books!

I started off the week with The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner.   I've been intrigued by books surrounding the French Revolution.  But, the last one was just ok.   Apparently what I needed was one of more fictional basis and young adult.   It was a fast read and I thought it was great. 

I read The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan next.  It's the 4th book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  While it was still a good book, I felt like it was lacking something.  Not my favorite of the series.

I finished the week with Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke.  I was excited for this book because I really loved Inkspell.  I still loved the characters and story development in this one.  My problem was it just seemed too long.  I think there was too much tedious details and dialog.

I'm going to start Fire by Kristin Cashore tonight.  I'm so excited for this book because I loved Graceling!  I'm expecting two books from Around the World Tours this week, so I'll have to read those instead of the other two I had planned (that's not a bad thing though).   So that will be Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia and Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvery.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In My Mailbox!

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

It wasn't my intent to have this many books this week!

For Review:

Princess for Hire Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens (A Reading Journal for Teens)

  • Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
  • Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens (A Reading Journal for Teens) by Rachel Rogers Knight


The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations, #1) The Everafter Why I Let My Hair Grow Out

  • The Crown Conspiracy by Michael Sullivan

  • The Everafter by Amy Huntley

  • Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood

From The Library:

Fire (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, #2) The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1) Incarceron (Incarceron, #1) Bone Crossed (Mercedes Thompson, #4)

  • Fire by Kristin Cashore

  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

  • Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cover of the Month!

Two future covers were released this week that I loved!  The first is for Torment by Lauren Kate.  I haven't read Fallen yet, but have to say that the cover for both books are great.  The second cover of the month is for Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  I loved Beautiful Creatures and the simple features of black and gray with that splash of color on the covers is what draws you in.  Here are both... what do you think?

Torment (Fallen, #2)     Beautiful Darkness (The Caster Chronicles, #2)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Numbers by Rachel Ward


Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Published: Feb 2010
Pages: 325
ISBN: 9780545142991
Source: Won from Goodreads First Look

Description: Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.
Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

The description above is the most common one found for this book.  And, I have to point out that it's extremely misleading.  I  prefer the description that are usually included with this on sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.   The fact that Jem sees the date of when someone will die is more like a side story in this book.  It leads to the events that actually take place.  I'm hoping that not to many people are disappointed when the story isn't what they expect.  Because the actual story is really pretty good.  Jem is a complete fireball of a lead character.   She's sarcastic, witty, and fun.   I completely understand why she shies away from relationships.  I wasn't sure what I thought of Spider at first.  But, he grew on me by the end of the book.  I could see why Jem found the connection she did with him.  The events that occur after the incident at the ferris wheel are intense and they leave you in a whirlwind of emotions.   I was completely shocked by the ending.  The only thing that really bothered me was the constant talk of the characters being victims of their circumstances.  The story made it seem that because they came from poor backgrounds, they wouldn't amount to anything more.    

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles

I, Elizabeth: A Novel

Title: I, Elizabeth
Author: Rosalind Miles
Published: March 2003
Pages: 656
ISBN: 9780609809105
Source: Personal Copy

Description: Publicly declared a bastard at the age of three, daughter of a disgraced and executed mother, last in the line of succession to the throne of England, Elizabeth I inherited an England ravaged by bloody religious conflict, at war with Spain and France, and badly in debt. When she died in 1603, after a forty-five- year reign, her empire spanned two continents and was united under one church, victorious in war, and blessed with an overflowing treasury. What’s more, her favorites—William Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir Walter Raleigh—had made the Elizabethan era a cultural Golden Age still remembered today.
But for Elizabeth the woman, tragedy went hand in hand with triumph. Politics and scandal forced the passionate queen to reject her true love, Robert Dudley, and to execute his stepson, her much-adored Lord Essex. Now in this spellbinding novel, Rosalind Miles brings to life the woman behind the myth. By turns imperious, brilliant, calculating, vain, and witty, this is the Elizabeth the world never knew. From the days of her brutal father, Henry VIII, to her final dying moments, Elizabeth tells her story in her own words.

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

 I picked this book up because Queen Elizabeth I fascinates me.  I've read many different historical fictions about her.  I really liked the first part of the book.  Most things I've read start were her half-sister Queen Mary has her in the Tower of London.  So, I haven't read much concerning her childhood and when her father was still alive (at least were she was the focus of the story anyway).   I felt that reading about that time period helped me better understand some of her actions as an adult.  I also liked reading about her relationship with her half-brother, Edward.  But, sadly the later part of the story started to really drag down.  I found myself skimming parts.  But, I don't blame it on the book really.  As stated above, I've read a lot about her.  This book really just did not have anything new to add.  It focused on the facts and more on Elizabeth the Queen, not Elizabeth the person.    So, if you haven't already read some historical fiction about Queen Elizabeth, you might like this one.   But, if you already have a lot of information concerning Queen Elizabeth I, you might want to find something else.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Bleeding Violet

Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Published: January 2010
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781416986188
Source: ARC copy provided for review by Around The World Tours

Description: Love can be a dangerous thing...
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.  But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I think I should start off by saying this book is not for everyone.  I knew from pervious reviews that it's a little dark and twisted, okay maybe I should say a lot twisted.  You know from the description that Hanna is not what one would call mentally stable.  I hate to use the word crazy (that would be the psychology background talking), but really there isn't a better word for her.  And in Portero, she's not the craziest thing out there.  In this town, monsters turn fountains into blood, pop out of invisible doors, live in windows, and possess people.  To combat this all, Hanna takes her craziness to the next level, were her hallucinations become real and help protect her.  The book is intense to say the least.  I had a hard time with Hanna, maybe because it's so hard to figure out what she's doing.   Wyatt was interesting, but I felt like even he was hiding something.   The book has a lot of very mature content in it, including graphic violence, suicide and sexual content.  I liked it, but as I said from the start, it isn't for everybody.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

teasertuesdays31 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:
     "Many men," said Mr. Tippen, taking a large pinch of snuff, which immediately brought on a bout of sneezing, "spend their lives living in the wrong corner of their souls, mainly out of fear of what they might find on the other side."

~ The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is now brought to you by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books!

I'm amazed that I managed to get 3 books in last week.  Granted it didn't hurt that my last book was a fast read and I couldn't sleep last night.

I started the week with a book from Around the World Tours that I've been dieing to read!   It was Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves.   Let's just say that this book was crazy.   I enjoyed it, but it's not for everybody.

I decided to chug along with Voyager by Diana Gabaldon next.  I'm so glad that I did.  I'm debating if I may have liked it more than Outlander.  Probably not, but it's a close second!

I started and finished The Mark by Jen Nadol yesterday.  It was a really fast read for me.  I really liked it.  Much better than my recent read that had the same sort of idea.

I'm not currently reading anything at the moment.  I will start something today.   I haven't decided yet which order to read them, but my plan is to read The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner, Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke, and The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan this week.

Hope you have a great reading week!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In My Mailbox!

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


The Mark     Bleeding Violet

  • The Mark by Jen Nadol (Other Shelf Tours)

  • Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (Around The World Tours)


Anastasia's Secret

  • Anastasia's Secret by Suzanne Dunlap


Inkdeath (Inkheart, #3)     The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)

  • Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

  • The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blog Award!

I want to thank Felicia over at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog for this award!

1. Put this on your blog, whether as an entirely new post like I'm doing, or on your sidebar.

2. Choose 15 other bloggers that you love, and award them with this.

3. Send them a message/comment to let them know.

The Book Owl
Eating YA Books
Book Journal
Curling Up By The Fire
I Swim For Oceans
Inside Of A Dog
My Book Retreat
Opening Lines
Polish Outlander
Reading Extensively
Reading on a Rainy Day
Tabitha's Reads
The Many Thoughts of a Reader
Well-Mannered Frivolity
Write Meg!


Friday, March 12, 2010

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)

Title: The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Published: September 2009
Pages: 509
ISBN: 9780385504225
Source: Personal copy

Description: Everyone off the bus, and welcome to a Washington, D.C., they never told you about on your school trip when you were a kid, a place steeped in Masonic history that, once revealed, points to a dark, ancient conspiracy that threatens not only America but the world itself. Returning hero Robert Langdon comes to Washington to give a lecture at the behest of his old mentor, Peter Solomon. When he arrives at the U.S. Capitol for his lecture, he finds, instead of an audience, Peter's severed hand mounted on a wooden base, fingers pointing skyward to the Rotunda ceiling fresco of George Washington dressed in white robes, ascending to heaven. Langdon teases out a plethora of clues from the tattooed hand that point toward a secret portal through which an intrepid seeker will find the wisdom known as the Ancient Mysteries, or the lost wisdom of the ages. A villain known as Mal'akh, a steroid-swollen, fantastically tattooed, muscle-bodied madman, wants to locate the wisdom so he can rule the world. Mal'akh has captured Peter and promises to kill him if Langdon doesn't agree to help find the portal. Joining Langdon in his search is Peter's younger sister, Kathleen, who has been conducting experiments in a secret museum. This is just the kickoff for a deadly chase that careens back and forth, across, above and below the nation's capital, darting from revelation to revelation, pausing only to explain some piece of wondrous, historical esoterica.

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

I kind of feel sorry for Dan Brown.  He had to write a follow up to The Da Vinci Code, and we all know that it was probably not an easy task.  I think he did a pretty good job of it for the most part.  I loved how this one was set in the US, and not just the US, but Washington D.C.   The historical and landmark facts in this book are nothing short of astounding.  It never fails to amaze me how religious the founding fathers really were and how much of those beliefs are worked into our government.   One thing is for sure, this book really made me want to visit our nation's capitol.   I also enjoyed the mystery, twists and turns in this one.  Dan Brown really knows how to keep you guessing until the very end.   But (and sadly there is that but), I felt the overall message delivered in this one was a bit heavy-handed and over the top.  And the descriptions of the "Ancient Mysteries" left me rather bored at times.   It just wasn't as believable as his previous books.  I never had that moment that made me question all the things I've been taught (which I did with Da Vinci Code).   Still, a great read for those who like his previous works, but I would not expect it to wow you like the others did.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

Title: The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette
Author: Carolly Erickson
Published: August 2006
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780312361501
Source: personal copy

Description: Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life—from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution.   Carolly Erickson takes the reader deep into the psyche of France’s doomed queen: her love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her; her fears on the terrifying night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family; her harrowing attempted flight from France in disguise; her recapture and the grim months of harsh captivity; her agony when her beloved husband was guillotined and her young son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again.  Erickson brilliantly captures the queen’s voice, her hopes, her dreads, and her suffering. We follow, mesmerized, as she reveals every detail of her remarkable, eventful life—from her teenage years when she began keeping a diary to her final days when she awaited her own bloody appointment with the guillotine.

I Give This Book 3 Stars!

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about Marie Antoinette.   And, what I do know probably comes from the movies.  She usually isn't portrayed very kindly there.  I had built this image of a young women who liked parties, clothes, and basic extravagance.  This book took an extreme opposite view.  It touched on the rumors surrounding the Queen, but I never got a good feel for how the Queen felt about this.  The book seems to down play all of that, when in fact that malicious gossip eventually made the people of France hate her.  She had to have realized that but she seems really detached from her people and her country.  I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  Although, I'm sure we will never know the whole truth surrounding all the gossip. 

I did really enjoy the format of the book.  The diary entries made it seem like more of a possibility that this was who the Queen really was.  I learned a few things I did not know.  Plus, it made me want to read more historical fiction about Marie Antoinette.  Some seem to complain about some characters being made up, but I able to take that in because I know it is historical fiction.  I know that not everything is fact.  Overall, and interesting read, but I feel it's steeped more in fiction than in fact. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Published: October 2007
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781595141712
Source: Library

Description: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier.   On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.  Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I Give This Book 5 Stars!

This book caught my interest from the first time I saw it.  I finally picked it up when I saw it at the library.  Within the first couple pages I was hooked.  They way the author presented this story was so real.  I could feel Clay's emotions as he listened to each of the tapes.  I wanted to reach out to Hannah and tell her that everything was going to be okay.   I've read reviews that state they felt Hannah was placing blame on those 13 people.  I never felt like that through the entire story.  I felt Hannah was trying to point out that a person's actions DO affect others.  Rumors, lies, bullying, etc are all ways that can cut a person down.  I think Hannah hoped that through the tapes, she could make someone (even just one) realize their behavior can change.  I was so raw in emotion towards the end, I needed to step back from the book for awhile and reflect over it.  You know the outcome of the story, but part of you hopes for that glimmer of help.  Something for Hannah to reach out and hold on to.  I hope this book becomes a must read for teens.  I think it has a very real portrayal of suicide and that things that may drive a person to believe that it may be the only option.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

teasertuesdays31 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:
Whatever he might once have been to Grey, Fraser now was a beaten foe; a prisoner of war, and the charge of the Crown.  He was Grey's  charge, in fact; a responsibility, and his welfare the duty of honor.

~ Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is now brought to you by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books!

I spent the week working on my series challenge. 

I started off the week with Inkspell by Cornelia Funke.  I wasn't sure what I would think of this book because I thought Inkheart was just okay.  I was extremely surprised how much I liked this one.  I will look forward to book three.

My next book was  The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan.  I'm really enjoying this series so far.  I think this one is my favorite so far.  I really enjoy watching the characters grow.

 My last read was The Van Alen Legacy.  I'm not sure what I think of this one.  I found the alternating narratives very distracting. 

I'm currently reading Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, but I will put it aside for Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves when it gets here.   I will also read The Red Necklace  by Sally Gardner.  I haven't decided if I will read anything else, but I may try to finish Voyager instead of my original plan.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In My Mailbox!

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

Goddess of the Sea (Goddess Summoning, #1)

  • Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast

That's all I got this week!  How about you?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shudder by Jennie Hansen


Title: Shudder
Author: Jennie Hansen
Published: 2009
Pages: 218
ISBN: 9781598117684
Source: Library

Description:  Darcy and Clare grew up as best friends, sharing trials and triumphs from preschool through college graduation. Now they’re sharing an apartment in Boise, Idaho, where Clare just landed a great job and Darcy is pursuing a teaching certificate. There’s only one problem: Blaine, Clare’s boyfriend. His chauvinistic, know-it-all ways set Darcy’s teeth on edge. Darcy vows not to let Blaine ruin her lifelong friendship with Clare, but when Blaine insists on moving in, Darcy suddenly finds herself alone. The estranged friends forge ahead on seemingly separate paths. Engaged to Blaine, Clare becomes trapped in ugly family politics and vicious treatment from her fiancĂ©. Darcy finds a temporary home with Karlene, an accident victim seeking live-in help, but a twisted plot soon threatens their safety. Clare’s wedding briefly reunites her with Darcy, yet the friends have never been farther apart. And when Clare finds herself in mortal peril and finally calls on Darcy to help, it might be too late.

I Give This Book 3 Stars!

It was the cover and title that first caught my eye.  Of course I picked it up to read the description on the back.  The second thing that jumped out at me was that the story takes place in Boise, Idaho.  I know most people would say who cares, but I'm from southern Idaho (about 2 hours from Boise), and this really got me.  I was happy to see it on the shelf at the library, so I picked it up.  Now comes the trouble of reviewing it.  I liked it, but I can guarantee that it is not for everybody.  The main problem I see is that it revolves greatly around the Mormon religion.  I can take it with a grain of salt, but I'm afraid that there will be many who can't read around it.  Plus, if you are not Mormon or familiar with the religion, I'm afraid it will come across as extreme.  Now, setting that aside, I liked the characters.  I think it gives a very good picture of abusive relationships.  You can't help but feel for Darcy as she watches what her friend goes through.  Add in the murder/mystery, and it was a lot of fun.  The book got better when it stepped away from why the girls can't live with a man, or issues with modest clothing, and all things that seem so clichĂ© to the mormon religion.  I understand that they need something to read too.  Something that fits in with those who have strong beliefs, and above all something clean.  That's what the author was aiming for here, and that's fine too. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shadowland (The Immortals, #3) by Alyson Noel

Shadowland (The Immortals, #3)

Title: Shadowland
Author: Alyson Noel
Published: November 2009
Pages: 339
ISBN: 9780312590444
Source: Library

Description: At the start of this breathtaking novel, Damen and Ever travel to Summerland in search of an antidote to reverse a powerful poison. But instead of the cure they seek, they find something far more sinister: the truth about their existence and the fate lying in wait of an immortal’s soul.  Now, with Damen fighting to save them from the Shadowland, Ever turns to magick, hoping to break Damen’s curse. Along the way Ever encounters the mysterious Jude, finding herself drawn to him in a way that will test her love for Damen like never before . ..

 I Give This Book 4 Stars! (see below)

So, I really should have written my review when I read this book .  You notice I give it 4 stars, but that's because it's what I rated it on goodreads.  But, I made the mistake of reading some other reviews before I wrote my own.  And now, I've forgotten what I liked about it.  All I can see are the issues that others pointed out.  So, I'm tempted to go back and give it 3 stars.  I did like it.  The plot was interesting and suspenseful at times.  The introduction of Jude and why he was there  completely caught me off guard.  I know for sure that when I finished reading it the twins really annoyed me.  But, now all I can think of is the lack of development in Ever and Damon's relationship.  We seem to still be in the same place we were in book one.  I can't help but notice Ever's glaring faults.  Bad choice after bad choice do not make for an interesting series.  At some the main character has to evolve a little.  But, I will continue on.  But at this point in the series, I'm glad it's the library buying them and not me...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2) by Patricia Briggs

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2)

Title: Hunting Ground
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: August 2009
Pages: 286
ISBN: 9780441017386
Source: Library

Description: Mated to werewolf Charles Cornick, the son and enforcer of the leader of the North American werewolves, Anna Latham now knows how dangerous being a werewolf is, especially when a werewolf opposes Charles and his father is struck down. Charles's reputation makes him the prime suspect, and the penalty for the crime is execution. Now Anna and Charles must combine their talents to hunt down the real killer or Charles will take the fall.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

This book had a little bit of a slow start for me.  I was afraid it wouldn't have the same pull as Cry Wolf.  I kept reading because I like the characters and I was hoping it would pick up.  I was in for a treat.  The story became very intense later on.  I enjoyed the mystery and the thrills.  It was definitely a page turner from about half way through the book (the story picked up way before that).  I love how the author manages to pull in different mythical races into one story without making it seem like to much information.  The author has created a tightly woven subculture in today's human world.  I really loved watching Charles' and Anna's character evolve with each other.  And, I was relieved to finally learn a little bit more about what an Omega werewolf is.  I will be looking forward to the next in the series!


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