Monday, September 30, 2013

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: 
A Study in Silks (The Baskerville Affair, #1)What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)
  • A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway 
  • What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Up This Week: 

A Spark Unseen (The Dark Unwinding, #2)
  • A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

Up This Week: 

RedGlittering Promises (Grand Tour Series, #3)
  • Red by Allison Cherry
  • Glittering Promises by Lisa Tawn Bergren


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves!

For Review: 

Taste of DarknessNo Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Rules of Scoundrels, #3)
  • Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
  • No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review - This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your LifeTitle: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 288
Published: September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
ISBN: 9780374351380
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing. 

I Give This ...

I've never read a book by Leila Sales.  When I requested this one, I had no idea that I would identify with it the way I did.  With that in mind, I think perhaps I should go back in her work and read more of what she has written.

Elise is that all too familiar teenage girl.  That one who has no idea how to fit in.  She's tried everything she can think of.  But, sadly she was pegged long ago as being uncool.  For some, this very thing would not matter.  To Elise, it might be everything.  Nobody recognizes how lonely she is, that she has no friends, and how desperately she just wants to be noticed.  It's not just one thing that leads her to the brink, but many.  I think this leads Elise to feel even more isolated even though her parents watch her like a hawk.

She takes solitude with her long walks and her ipod in the middle of the night when the town is sleeping.  She never has a destination and one night her walk leads her to a hidden night club.  The two girls standing out front think nothing of befriending her and soon she's inside the doors.  Here, nobody knows a thing about her past.  She hasn't been pegged as anything.  She's free to be who she wants.  That freedom becomes a craving and soon every Thursday night becomes about planning on how to get out of her house and visit the club again.

It's these nights that lead Elise to a new passion, DJing.   I never knew how much went into this art form.  But, apparently Elise has a real knack for it.  The art of blending one song into the next, matching beats, and reading the crown are things that come pretty naturally do Elise.  And soon her name is known in the crowd.  All of a sudden she just might be SOMEBODY.  But, during her perfect night life Elise is fighting off the things happening during the day.  An online diary that claims to be written by Elise is starting to take over her life.  No one believes she isn't writing it.  But, Elise knows she finally has something to driver her forward.

I was deeply touched by all of this.  I think you will see many review about the high school misfits that identify greatly with Elise.  While, I wasn't exactly one them, I understood it all.  I was on that bubble and I latched on to any little bit that I could get.  That's why I understood when Elise fell for Char and how she would bent over backward at times for Vicky and Pippa.  One has to learn how to be yourself without losing yourself.

I think Sales does a great job of addressing the subtle things that can happen to teenagers.  It's often not about one thing but about many.  I can't wait to pick up one of her older book and will definitely be looking out for her future works!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review - Shadowfever (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Moning

Shadowfever (Fever, #5)Title: Shadowfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Pages: 594
Series: 5th (Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever)
Published: January 18th 2011 by Delacorte Pres
ISBN: 9780385341677
Source: Library

Description: MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.  Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.   What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.  In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.  Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?  From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it. 

I Give This ...


It's so hard to adequately review series books.  I often feel like I'm repeating myself when it comes to characters and events.  With this series especially, I feel like I'm way to repetitious. So what do you say about the 5th and final book in a series...I'm going to give it my best shot.

Mac was extremely interesting in this book.  Her whole demeanor changed after the events of the 4th books.  I'm glad it wasn't long lasting because I felt this character was not the answer to finding the Sinsar Subh.  Without giving away too many spoilers, things aren't always what they seem.  And I think it really shows how Mac feels about certain people.  And damn him all to hell for thinking otherwise. 

There are some events that lead to startling discoveries.   Who learn who/what Barren actually is(was).   And it's completely not what I thought.   We learn a lot about the sisterhood and maybe some truth behind it's purpose and its origin.  We also learn some really interesting things about Mac.  The story really waivers back and forth between who she might really be.  And while I never believed she was really the Seelie King, there is defiantly interesting evidence pointing otherwise.  

While there are some fast moving sections, I often wondered why this book was so long.  There seemed to be parts that really rambled on for nothing.  I think I might have enjoyed the book just a little more had it been shorter.  I'm giving the book a 4 ratings because I was satisfied with the overall ending and the journey we took to get here.  Now, I just need to decide how much the next series she's written will tie into this one!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownTitle: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Series: I have no idea :)
Pages: 419
Published:  September 3rd 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
 ISBN:  9780316213103
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.  One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself. 

I Give This ...

I wasn't sure on this one.  Vampires seem to be a passing fad.  But in remembering my love for Julie Kagawa's new vampire series, I thought I would give this one a shot.  Everyone raves about Holly Black, so I thought this might be a safe bet.

I ended up being conflicted about the story.  I LOVED the characters.  Tana is no nonsense especially when it comes to vampires.  Who wouldn't be when you watched your own mother battle the change and then subsequently watch your father have to decapitate her.  She knows exactly what to do when she wakes in a house full of dead teens and her ex (Aiden) in the beginning stages of the change.  She didn't count on having a heart for the vampire chained in the room with Aiden.   These 3 characters make the story.  Aiden drove me crazy occasionally, but I thought Black did an excellent job of bringing him to life.  He very much is the ex-boyfriend.   

We don't have to even mention Gavriel.  If you've read any reviews concerning this book, you can almost bet they've mentioned him.  I was enthralled with him.  Tana intrigued him in ways he never thought possible.  He acted how you thought a vampire would, but then he would turn around and do something completely out of the ordinary.  I seriously never knew if he was playing a game or found a small thread of human emotion when it came to Tana.

I also enjoyed the full blood and gore that came with this story.  From the beginning chapters to the very end, this is how vampires should be written.   So were did this story loose me?   I was extremely bored in some places.  The travel to Coldtown seemed to drag on way longer than it should. And once they were in the town it didn't seem to get any better.  It's like the book had these periods of intense action and death, and then there was nothing in between.

However, I want a sequel!  A story can not end this way and leave us hanging.  Hopefully Black brings these characters back for us!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review - The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas

The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)Title: The Burning Sky
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: 1st
Pages: 464
Published: September 17th 2013 by Balzer + Bray 
ISBN: 9780062207296
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description: It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death. Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal. But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life. 

I Give This ...

I'm not sure how this one failed to catch my attention.  It wasn't until I began to see a few reviews come in that I even gave it it a glance.  I am so glad I did!  I would have missed out on this awesome fantasy!

Iolanthe was interesting to learn about.  She's basically been hidden from the eyes of The Realm by her crazy guardian.  She's come to resent him a little for being the talk of the town and constantly moving then around.  But, she determined to prove herself and find a way out of the backwoods town she leaves in.  She didn't know that calling a bolt of lightening was so rare and would bring down the  very world she knows.  Turns out he had been protecting her all this time.

When the Inquisitor comes to investigate the lightening bolt, she quickly send through a trunk that acts as a connection between locations.    Prince Titus is quick to track her down and helps her go undercover as a boy at his prestigious private school.  He's been waiting for a long time for the prophesied one.  He quickly fills her on her plan to take down The Bane and take back control of his kingdom.  He's been a figurehead for way to long.  But Iolanthe does not trust him and the means he will go to all to fulfill his plans and perhaps his own prophesied destiny.  Somewhere along the way they begin to fall in love, further complicating the entire situation. 

Throughout the story Iolanthe learns to control her magic and just how powerful she is.  But, can she really take down The Bane?  It's rumored that he's been killed before yet somehow he's still living.   And how can she keep hidden from his minion the Inquisitor who will go the extraordinary measures to find her.  The Realm has made it their business to track down every hint of powerful magic.

My favorite part of the book was the trip inside Titus' magical book he keeps concealed.   There are 3 copies of this book with each acting a portal to its location.  When it becomes obvious he may have a chance to take down The Bane, he sets off on his own through the book to one of the other magical portals.  But, it's extremely dangerous.  In most cases you can not die inside the book.  But, in order to use it as a portal, you have to strip that protection  away.  And the portal he needs is in the most dangerous he's been killed in many times before.

I really enjoyed this book.  The world the characters lived in was well built.  I really felt the fear that had been instilled into the kingdom.  I really enjoyed our main character as well.  I look forward to seeing what develops between Titus and Iolanthe.  And I admit, I'm highly curious as to who and what The Bane really is!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Review - Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #2) by Bethany Griffin

Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #2)Title: Dance of The Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Pages: 327
Published: June 11th 2013 by Greenwillow Books 
ISBN: 9780062107824
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss 

Description: In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city. Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero. With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

I Give This ...

This one somehow slipped right by me and missed publication date.  So unfortunately, I had to work on remembering some of the details from the first book.  I think I manged it because I wasn't nearly as confused as I thought I would be.

Araby is determined to save her friend April (and possibly the city if she can) at all costs.  I think she's tired of those around her wavering in their decisions.  But, it's interesting to think that the story kind of sticks to the time period that a girl needs a boy to save her.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure Araby can count on Will or Elliott to serve her best interests.  They are both to wrapped up in their own ideals to take note.  And thankfully, she finally doesn't wait around for them.

Speaking of Elliott and Will, I had high hopes for them.  Sadly, the really disappointed me.  Will seems to wallow in his own betrayal.  Araby may be mad at him, and possibly want nothing to do with, but she also understands.  I think he just needed to buck up and show her the kind of man he could me.  As for Elliott, I really wanted to see the person that I thought he could be.  But, he really is just shallow.  Araby looks good on his arm only when it's convenient for him.     

I thought the chain of events was interesting.  It was slow moving to build up the ending that then h a happened at a break neck speed.  I found it extremely intriguing that Elliott thought he had the upper hand in planning this big revolution.  Sadly the Prince was way ahead of them.   He was the one that had it all planned out....I just don't think he fully counted on how Araby played into it all.

The ball at the end was absolutely fantastic.  I had such vivid imagery going that I didn't want the scene to end.  I would love to see it play out in a trailer.  I've read further reviews that its an awesome tribute to the Edgar Allen Poe short Masque of the Read Death.  I must seek this story out and read it!  If I was as fascinated with this version, I can only imagine Poe's!

A satisfying conclusion.  I'll have to keep an eye on this author!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Greenbeard the Pirate Pig Book and Toy Set Paperback – by Andrea Torrey Balsara

In honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I was given the chance to review Greenbeard the Pirate Pig.  This adorable little set was such a hit in our house.  My 5 year old loved the stuffed animal that came with it!  When it came time to read the story, the stuffed animals accessories made a lot more sense to her.  I enjoyed the storyline and how positive Greenbeard was throughout.  He always had a song and a bounce in his step!  I can see this being a story we read often.

For more information (including ordering), please visit the following website
There's a trailer and even some coloring pages!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review - Scorched (Scorched #1) by Mari Mancusi

Scorched (Scorched, #1)Title: Scorched
Author: Mari Mancusi
Series: 1st
Pages: 352
Published: September 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire 
ISBN:  9781402284588
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Trinity Don’t leave me here... It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise—her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it...  Connor  He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.  Caleb  He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons. Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head—a dragon that won’t be tamed. 

I Give This ...

Dragon's and time travel, what more can I say!  I was excited to say the least for this one.  While it wasn't a stay up all night page turner, I enjoyed this book quite a bit!

Trinity doesn't seem to be a typical teenager.  She lives with her eccentric grandfather, who poorly manages his museums' finances.  Trinity does everything in her power to keep the collection companies at bay and the lights on.  But, one night she discovers that her grandfather has funded an expedition without her knowledge.  His return for his investment is an egg.  An egg that is rumored to be the last dragon egg.  Trinity knows more than to believe it, but there are a few problems.  First the mysterious boy that appears claiming to be from the future.  Second, the people hell bent on stealing it.  And last, a voice inside her head claiming to be the dragon waiting to hatch.   She's afraid she's going down the same crazy path as her mother.

What follows in a crazy chain of events were Trinity learns that this precious dragon egg basically is the start of hell on earth.   Controlled by the government, the dragon was used to produce eggs that were genetically modifiedThese altered dragons escaped and basically burned the earth to the ground.  Twin brothers Connor and Caleb have come back from the future to alter that reality.  But both have frightfully different versions of how to better the future.  And neither is entirely truthful about their missions.  To compound the problem, neither of them have been clued in to the truth of the people they represent either.

I liked how Trinity had a hard to time accepting either brother.  I think it shows that she truly thinks things through.  And since she gets both sides of their story, she understands what drives them better than she thinks.  She knows that what they want to accomplish is not the best way in either scenario.  Plus, she's formed a bond with the dragon that she didn't think was possible.  I also liked both brother's.  I didn't fault them for either of their belief's.  They may have been wrong, but they held fast to their initial thoughts and that shows convection. 

This first book has definitely peaked my interest in were the rest of the series might go.  There's lots of potential here!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review - Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Tumble & FallTitle: Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutss
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 384
Published: September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374378615
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings.   The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.  

 I Give This ...

 Oh how I wanted to like this book.  With such an interesting title and description that reels you in, it had me really wanting to read it.  However, it was not meant to be.

First off, it's told in multiple points of view.  I occasionally don't mind dual points, especially when the characters are connected giving different points to the same story.  This is not the case here.  We get 3 different view points with the only connections being the end up at the same place at the end of the book.  The story is jarring and not very fluid.  I felt I never got to know these characters because the story was always changing points of view.  

The one story I did like was Zan's point of view.  She's still mourning the death of her boyfriend from the year before.  A death she never understood because he wasn't were he should have been.  As the end of days draws near, Zan feel she must flesh out the truth of his final days.  And what she discovers set her through a roller coaster of emotions.  I actually wanted to read this part of the story.  The rest I could take it or leave it.

I seriously thought about putting it down.  But honestly, I wanted to see through to the end when the damn asteroid hit.   Of course I was disappointed in that as well.  In my opinion, no one acted the way I thought they should when faced with the knowledge that the world likely will end as we know it.  

A frustrating first book that I was excited about initially.  I"m not sure if I will seek out the next one the author writes.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

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: 
The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  • The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black  

Currently Reading: 

Shadowfever (Fever, #5)
  •  Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

Up This Week:   

This Song Will Save Your LifeA Study in Silks (The Baskerville Affair, #1)
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  •  A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stacking the Shelves!

For Review: 

A Study in Ashes (The Baskerville Affair, #3)All the Truth That's In Me
  • A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway
  • All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry


Counting BackwardsValkyrie Rising (Valkyrie, #1)
Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga, #1)
  • Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso 
  • Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
  •  Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Reivew - The Wizard Heir (The Heir Chronicles #2) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Wizard Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #2)Title: The Wizard Heir
Series: 2nd (The Warrior Heir)
Pages: 458
Published: June 10th 2008 by Disney-Hyperion 
ISBN:  9781423104872
Source: Library

Description: Sixteen-year-old Seph McCauley has spent the past three years getting kicked out of one exclusive private school after another. And it's not his attitude that's the problem: it's the trail of magical accidents - lately, disasters - that follow in his wake. Seph is a wizard, orphaned and untrained, and his powers are escalating out of control. After causing a tragic fire at an after-hours party, Seph is sent to the Havens, a secluded boys' school on the coast of Maine. Gregory Leicester, the headmaster, promises to train Seph in magic and initiate him into his mysterious order of wizards. But Seph's enthusiasm dampens when he learns that training comes at a steep cost, and that Leicester plans to use his students' powers to serve his own mysterious agenda. 

I Give This ...

Another series that I dropped after the first book without meaning too.  I like the world that the author has created.  But, library books have taken and even further back than books on my shelf.  But, I discovered this series available as audio downloads from the library and I thought that might be the perfect fit!

Seph was interesting to learn about.  An orpahn who has no control over his powers.  He doesn't even fully understand them or what he can do.  As he gets older, the incidents are harder to control and keep under wraps.  It's no wonder that he ends up at the Havens.  Leicester knows just how to handle wayward boys.  But, Seph proves to be different in every way possible.  He wants to learn how to control his magic, but he's not willing to sell his soul to do so.  It's a good thing too, because Leicester is not what he seems to be.    

But, Seph isn't destined to stay at the Havens for long.  A women named Linda comes to his rescue.  Through her, he learns little by little who he really is and what he can do.  But, Leicester discovers this as well and will do anything to get his hands on Seph again.  Not only is Seph a powerful wizard in his own right, but he also has powerful connections to the mysterious person known only as the "Dragon."  As Seph learns more about the powerful world that he has been secluded from, he must choose a side.  Because war is coming no matter what they try to do to prevent it.    

I truly enjoyed how this story built up.  Seph often seemed uncontrollable, but he just lacked the proper training.  And it was really hard for him to adjust when all of a sudden he was surrounded by people who actually cared about him.  He was so use to not answering to anybody.  I also really enjoyed how characters already introduced in the first book come to play in this one.  It makes me truly intrigued by how this story might play out.  

I also really enjoyed our romantic interests.  Maddy Moss was just the sort of offbeat character to match Seph's intensity.  I also loved learning more about her.  I think her life is way more complicated that we believe.  I also really enjoyed the intensity between Linda and Hastings.  You can almost feel it rolling off of them when they are together.  

I've already dove into listening too the next book in the series.  I've waited to long as it is!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review - Public School Princess by Augusta Blythe

Public School PrincessTitle: Public School Princess
Author: Augusta Blythe
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 198
Published: July 23rd 2013 
Source: Sent by author for honest review

Description: In the world of Hollister Bucksey-Breiten fame, money and power are as prevalent as plastic surgery. Sixteen-year-old Hollister is heiress to the Bucksey real estate empire on her mother's side, as well as a bonafide princess thanks to her deceased royal father. After her troubled mother heads yet again to rehab, the celebutante suddenly finds herself shipped from the privileged halls of Shotley Academy in Los Angeles to a backwoods New Jersey high school. Life at Franklin High isn't what Hollister expects. Instead of being worshiped by her lesser-blessed peers for the usual superficial reasons, Hollister feels ostracized because of them. With the help of her estranged brother and a few new friends, she discovers what's really important not only to her but about her, and that a good heart is her most valuable asset.

I Give This ...

I was a little worried that this one might be a little to teeny bopper for me.    But, I really enjoyed the author's previous works, so I was willing to give it a shot.  I was pleasantly surprised when I liked it!

I was surprised at how much I disliked Hollister at first.   She's rich, spoiled, and has all sorts of characteristics that just make her unlikeable.  Yes, part of it is all on her.  She thinks the world should revolve around her because of who she is and who her mother is.  She's use to being in the spotlight.  But, the interesting part for me was that she hates the way the media portrays her at time.  She's more than what the picture shows.  What she never stops to consider is that she can change that.

But then her mother ends up in hot water and a stint in rehab is the only way to circumvent jail time.  Hollister is shipped off to New Jersey were people barely know her name.  There's no paparazzi and nobody cares what she does, wears, etc.   Hollister has no idea how to be this other person.  At first, I thought this wasn't going to effect her at all.  She had herself convinced that it was just a short time away and that she could deal.  But, kids can be cruel and she learned the hard way the she really did need friends.

Through all of this, I loved the fact that she learned what true friendship meant.  She maybe grew up with the girls back home, but they had no idea what it meant to stand by someone through thick and thin.  Sometimes its the little gestures that mean the most.  She also discovers what she can do with all that money and power that she has.  It doesn't need to be wasted on parties and clothes.  It can be put to causes that matter.

The only part of the story that bugged me a little was when Hollister took one of her new friends for a makeover.  I know she was just trying to be nice because her friend had way less money to spend on herself.  But, it's the idea that she wasn't good enough the way she way.  She had this potential to be "pretty" but not the means to get there.  However, what Hollister did for her gave her a significant boost of confidence.  So, I had a hard time deciding how I really felt about it.

Augusta Blythe has a talent that is flying under the radar!  I hope I have the opportunity to read and review whatever she writes next.   


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review - Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11) by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, #11)Title: Dead Reckoning
Series: 11th (1 -8, Dead and Gone, Dead in the Family)
Pages: 336
Published:  May 3rd 2011 by Ace Books
ISBN: 9780441020317
Source: Personal Copy

Description: There's a reckoning on the way ... Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. It's a job which has its own challenges, but now the vampires and the shapeshifters are finally 'out', you'd think the supernaturals would get on with each other. But nothing is that simple in Bon Temps! ... and Sookie has a knack for being in trouble's way; not least when she witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but before she can investigate something else - something even more dangerous - comes up. Sookie's lover Eric Northman, and his 'child' Pam are plotting something in secret. Whatever it is, they seem determined to keep Sookie out of it; almost as determined as Sookie is to find out what's going on. She can't sit on the sidelines when both her work and her love life are under threat - but as their plans gradually become clear Sookie finds the situation is deadlier than she could ever have imagined. 

I Give This ...

I often wonder if I would still feel the same way about certain series if I felt they had possibly gone on for too many books.  Because I think I've reached that point with that series. I think this book was written just to fill space and because it was probably part of a required contract.

Ok, so it wasn't all that bad.  We get a glimpse of all our favorite characters.  But poor Sookie still has people who hate her, people who love her, people who use her, and then those who want her dead.  It seems more often than not they fall into the last category.  Its amazing that very few people don't get seriously hurt in the process.  Granted, it always helps that half of the people that surround Sookie are of the supernatural variety.

There are two things that I found greatly interesting in this book.  First off, Sookie is in the possession of a very powerful Fae artifactIt's something that is very old and she must keep it a secret or basically all of the Fae who still live in this dimension will be after it.  I think this little item will be extremely important either in the next book or that last in the series.  

Next, the blood bath planned by Eric and Pam.  We all no that the Regent has to go.  It's either him or Eric, and well I kind of want Eric to stick around.  I was kind of amazed that the entire plan succeeded in any way, especially without more consequences.  I know that's a spoiler in a way, but come on...I think we all knew it was going to happen.  Sadly, I think the relationship between Sookie and Eric isn't the same after this book.  I'm curious how that will play out in the end.

It's almost done, so I hope the next two books send the series out with a band.  This one was just so-so.  


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