Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I thought the book was a little confusing and I had a hard time keeping the characters straight at first.  Especially all the raven boys.  I really liked Blue's family and wish they were in it more.  Things that happened at the end were unexpected.  I really hope that questions are answered in the next book.  A lot of things were left unanswered that I would really like to know.  Also it seems like Blue is a little more psychic than she seems.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review: Until I Die - Amy Plum

Until I Die (Revenants, #2)
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book explains Revenants a lot more and Numa.  It was nice to get some background on both groups.  The book is mostly about Vincet and Kate's love and the obstacles they will have to overcome in the future.  Mainly Vincent's need to keep dying, therefore never aging and Kate growing old.  We meet two new Revenants, Violette & Arthur.  Also the ending really made me wish I didn't have to wait so long until I can read the next one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Forever... - Judy Blume

Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love.

It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...

"Forever" is written for an older age group than Judy Blume's other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content.

It was a book ahead of its time - and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller. America's No. 1 children's author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues - family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement - with insight, sensitivity and honesty.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
I have to admit that I have never read a book by Judy Blume before.  The book follows Katherine and her journey into adulthood.  From meeting Michael, a boy she falls in love with to loosing her virginity.  Even though this book is older it really didn't feel like it.  It felt like it could have taken place right now.  The book was short and I wish it was a book I would have read as a teenager because I think I would have appreciated it more.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Club November: Godless - Pete Hautman

"Why mess around with Catholicism when you can have your own customized religion?"
Fed up with his parents' boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new god -- the town's water tower. He recruits an unlikely group of worshippers: his snail-farming best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button (whatever that means) Magda Price, and the violent and unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry schemes to make the new faith even more exciting -- and dangerous.
When the Chutengodians hold their first ceremony high atop the dome of the water tower, things quickly go from merely dangerous to terrifying and deadly. Jason soon realizes that inventing a religion is a lot easier than controlling it, but control it he must, before his creation destroys both his friends and himself.

The book is about a boy named Jason who invents a religion.  He gets followers and makes up rules.  Through this book he find out what it means to have a religion and to have faith and that these two things do not mean the same thing.  His parents are devout Catholics and so that is how he grew up.  At some point in our lives we have questioned religion and what it means.

The Book for December is The Ice Storm - Rick Moody

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Book Review: Summer and the City - Candace Bushnell

Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2)
Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City's most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I thought this was better than the first book in the series.  Carrie moves to New York to attend the writing class.  She is staying at this horrible apartment with a horrible landlady Peggy.  She is also in touch with Samantha, who is engaged!  I love how Samantha is, well Samantha.  She is on top of the world and teaches Carrie a few things.  Also we meet up wit Miranda who is attending school.  It is so nice to see how these group of people get together to form the friendship that they have later in life.  Also Carrie is trying to make it as a writer, trying to find love in the wrong places and contemplating whether she should stay in New York or go to Brown.  I love seeing Carrie so poor and naive.  I hope there is another book to follow this one.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Book Review: Bitter Blood - Rachel Caine

Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires, #13)
Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Rachel Caine never dissapoints me with these books.  I love the different point of views.  I would have liked to have had Myrnin's point of view a little bit more.  This book made me realize how much Claire has grown up and how much braver she is.  We see the aftermath of Michael and Eve's marriage.  The human population is not happy with Eve for being with with a vampire and the vampire population is not happy with Michael for being with a vampire.  Because Michael is Amelie's bloodline that gives Eve a higher status.  Also there is a new Captain Obvious in town and I was a little surprised on who it was.  I loved the ending and it seems like this series is really taking a different direction.  I am very curious to see what will happen in the next book. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I thought it was a little slow in the beginning.  Plus I had read the last book when it came out so it took me a while to remember who was who.  I love that we get to read from several point of views.  As their quest got going it was a real page turner and I couldn't put the book down.  I love Percy and Annabeth they are so cute together and really love eachother.  Leo is starting to be one of my favorite half bloods and we learn a little about his family in this book.  I really missed Grover in this one though.  The ending was great but so sad at the same time.  I wish I did not have to wait so long for the next book.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium #2)
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past. 

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I enjoyed this book better than the first one.  I think because we were not given so much background and I already knew the characters.  We learn so much about Lisbeth in this book.  I really like Lisbeth from the first book and now I totally love her.  Although sometimes she makes me angry for the way she does not trust Mikael or any other person trying to help her.  She is a great researcher and can find out just about anything.  I love how we find out what happens to her immediately after the end of the last book and then about a year passes before the murders occur.  Both Mikael & Lisbeth have changed quite a bit in a year.  The ending left me wanting more and I wanted to immediately pick up the third book to find out what happens.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: The Giver -Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver, #1)
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This is a very short book (less than 200 pages) but I liked it. There are many things in these short pages.  Jonas really grows up and begins to understand things.  Also Giver seems to get new insight by listening and talking with Jonas.  There were some things in this book that really surprised me.  I would really love to see what happens next to Jonas.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: Finale - Becca Fitzpatrick

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)
Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Not the best one in the series, although it is nice to have a final ending.  I thought the book moved rather slowly.  To me it seems like Patch & Nora don't have a much chemistry as we are meant to believe they do.  Things were too convenient and I don't want to give things away.  Certain people were convieniently something and everything just works out in the end.  I like happy endings but not all tidied up in a bow.  Overall I liked the book but did not love it. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Book Review: World War Z - Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. "World War Z" is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, "By excluding the human factor, aren't we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn't the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as 'the living dead'?" 

I normally try very hard to finish books but this one was just too boring and I couldn't finish it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Book Review: Whispers at Moonrise - C.C. Hunter

Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4)
Even at a camp for supernatural teens, Kylie Galen has never been normal. Not only can she see ghosts, but she doesn’t seem to belong to any one species—she exhibits traits from them all. As Kylie struggles to unlock the secrets of her identity, she begins to worry that Lucas will never be able to accept her for what she is, and what she isn’t…a werewolf.  With his pack standing in their way, Kylie finds herself turning more and more to Derek, the only person in her life who’s willing to accept the impossible.

As if life isn’t hard enough, she starts getting visits from the ghost of Holiday, her closest confidante.  Trouble is, Holiday isn’t dead…not yet anyway.  Now Kylie must race to save one of her own from an unseen danger before it’s too late—all while trying to stop her relationship with Lucas from slipping away forever.   In a world of constant confusion, there’s only one thing Kylie knows for sure.  Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end…maybe even her time at Shadow Falls.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
 I thought this was by far the best book so far in this series.  Kylie finally finds out what she is but even knowing that she still has many questions.  The only people that can help her are her Grandfather and Great Aunt but they are so afraid of the FRU that they refuse to openly come to Shadow Falls.  Lucas is very distant due to him trying to get on the Council.  He basically pushes Kylie away so that he looks good with his pack.  Kylie needs someone to rely on that someone is Derek.  He is not afraid to help her with her ghost problem and anything else she needs.  I love that we get to see Kylie develep all sorts of abilities.  I love Della and Miranda.  I wish we could get a little more story of Holiday and Burnett.  Also Burnett starts dealing with some new abilities.  I really enjoyed this book.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Book Club-October

The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)
It was predictable, in hindsight. Everything about the history of the Society of Jesus bespoke deft and efficient action, exploration and research. During what Europeans were pleased to call the Age of Discovery, Jesuit priests were never more than a year or two behind the men who made initial contact with previously unknown peoples; indeed, Jesuits were often the vanguard of exploration.

The United Nations required years to come to a decision that the Society of Jesus reached in ten days. In New York, diplomats debated long and hard, with many recesses and tablings of the issue, whether and why human resources should be expended in an attempt to contact the world that would become known as Rakhat when there were so many pressing needs on Earth. In Rome, the questions were not whether or why but how soon the mission could be attempted and whom to send.

The Society asked leave of no temporal government. It acted on its own principles, with its own assets, on Papal authority. The mission to Rakhat was undertaken not so much secretly as privately – a fine distinction but one that the Society felt no compulsion to explain or justify when the news broke several years later.

The Jesuit scientists went to learn, not to proselytize. They went so that they might come to know and love God’s other children. They went for the reason Jesuits have always gone to the furthest frontiers of human exploration. They went ad majorem Dei gloriam: for the greater glory of God.

They meant no harm.

Even though this kind of sounds like a religious preachy book, it is not that at all.  The story alternates betwen 2019 when a signal is received in Arecibo and 2060 when Emilo, a survivor from a mission sent to Rakhat returns.  Inquiries are made as to why he was the only survivor and why he was in such bad shape.  Through alternating view we see the friendships he made and learn some back story on the other characters and why the undertook the mission.  We also see how broken Emilio is and how his faith in God has diminished because of the events that occured in Rakhat.  The ending just blew my mind and all had been building to it.  The author does a great job in keeping the reader interested.  I will definitely be picking up the sequel to this book to see what happens after Emilio's story is told.

The book for November is Godless - Pete Hautman 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: Timepiece - Myra McEntire

Timepiece - Myra McEntire
Timepiece (Hourglass, #2) 
A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples - cracks in time. Are his powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before he can find out, Jonathan landers, the man who tried to murder is father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers' return, the Hourglass organization is given an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered - with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I really enjoyed Hourglass and it was written in Emerson's point of view.  I was a little surprised when I began reading Timepiece and it was not Emerson's voice I heard but Kaleb's voice.  Seems like a lot of young adult novels I've read are written from the female's point of view.  Once I got used to it I actually loved it.  Kaleb grew so much in the course of this book.  Also seeing Emersen from someone else's point of view changed my mind about her.  The ending of this book really left me craving for the third one and bummed that it is not yet available.  I liked this one better than the first book.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I received this book through a giveaway on AnnaReads Blog.  The book is about Charlie who is just starting out in high school.  The book is written through letters that Charlie writes to a "friend".  Though we don't know who this friend is.  At first I did not like the writing style but the more I read, the more I realized that it felt like a kid was writing it.  Although I would have to say that Charlie is a bit odd in the fact that he cries quite a bit and in public.  He is certainly a unique individual.  I really felt bad for him all of the bad things that have happened in his life at such a young age.  The book ends as he is about to enter his Sophomore year.  I really liked the Epilogue to see where his life would be heading.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Review: The Goddess Legacy - Aimee Carter

The Goddess Legacy (Goddess Test, #2.5)
For millennia we've caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows. 

Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….

Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….

Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….

James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others#151;but never knew true loss before….

Henry/Hades's solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope….

4/5 stars (really liked it)
The first story was about Hera/Calliope and how she came to be married to Zeus and her feelings for Hades.  You understand her a little more and know why she is the way she is.  I love hearing a story from her point of view.
The second story was about Aphrodite/Ava and follows right after Hera's story.  It is about how she is torn between two brothers, Ares and Hephaestus and also how Zeus is making them all marry.  So Aphrodite has not choice in who she can marry even if she does not love him.
The third story was about Persephone and it begins with her marriage to Hades.  Poor Hades, it really does make you understand why he has such a wall around himself after the way Persephone treated him.  You also feel bad for her because she was forced to marry him and move to the Underworld.  You find out how she ends up with Adonis.
The fourth story was about Hermes/James.  He is sent on a mission for Zeus and in the process meets some mortals.  It seems mortals have kind of forgotten about the Greek Gods.  He must find a way for all the Greek Gods to survive and not Fade.
The Last story is about Hades/Henry.  It shows us how lonely he was and how all the girls before Kate came about.  Also we see how he felt about Kate when he met her.

I loved seeing a different side to all these Gods/Goddesses.  Also how the stories follow one another chronologically.  I would love to learn more about Hades and the time spent with Kate while she was taking the tests. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: An Apple for the Creature - Charlaine Harris et al

An Apple for the Creature
What could be scarier than the first day of school? How about a crash course in the paranormal from Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, editors of Home Improvement: Undead Edition? Your worst school nightmares—taking that math test you never studied for, finding yourself naked in school assembly, not knowing which door to enter—will pale in comparison to these thirteen original stories that take academic anxiety to whole new realms.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris’s story, "Playing Possum," Sookie Stackhouse brings enough birthday cupcakes for her nephew's entire class but finds she's one short when the angry ex-boyfriend of the school secretary shows up.

When her guardian, Kate Daniels, sends her undercover to a school for exceptional children, teenaged Julie learns an all-new definition of "exceptional," in New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews's "Magic Tests."

For those who like fangs with their forensics, New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder offers "VSI," in which FBI agent Claire is tested as never before in a school for Vampire Scene Investigation.

And in New York Times bestselling author Thomas Sniegoski's "The Bad Hour," Remy Chandler and his dog Marlowe find evil unleashed in an obedience school.

You'll need more than an apple to stave off the creatures in these and nine other stories. Remember your first lesson: resistance is fruitless!

Includes stories by: Ilona Andrews, Amber Benson, Rhys Bowen, Mike Carey, Charlaine Harris, Donald Harstad, Steve Hockensmith, Nancy Holder, Faith Hunter, Toni L.P. Kelner, Marjorie Liu, Jonathan Maberry, Thomas Sniegoski

3/5 stars (liked it)
I mainly got this book for the Sookie Stackhouse story.  Which is a short story really having nothing to do with the other books but we get to see more of Hunter.  Although sometimes it is good to read other short stories by other authors to see if there are other books out there that I would enjoy to read.  I enjoyed most of the stories and have not read any books by any of them other than Charlaine Harris.  The only stories I did not care for were Spellcaster 2.0, Sympathy for the Bones, An intro to Jewish Myth and Mysticism, The Bad Hour.  The last story Pirate Dave & The Captain's Ghost I really enjoyed and has read the previous story to it in another compilation.  Overall I liked it and would like to look into some of the authors of the stories I liked.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Book Review: If I Stay - Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book consists of many small stories about the main character Mia.  It is basically her life flashing before her eyes and through that we get to know her, her family, her best friend Kim and her boyfriend.  All of these things factor into her final decision on whether to stay or go.  If she stays she will be an orphan and probably endure a tough life.  If she goes she might be re-united with her family.  Such a tough decision that I'm sure anyone would have a hard time deciding.  In this in-between state she is in she can watch the people she knows waiting for her to decide.  The ending was great and somewhat unexpected.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Book Club - September

The Painted Drum 
While appraising the estate of a New Hampshire family descended from a North Dakota Indian agent, Faye Travers is startled to discover a rare moose skin and cedar drum fashioned long ago by an Ojibwe artisan. And so begins an illuminating journey both backward and forward in time, following the strange passage of a powerful yet delicate instrument, and revealing the extraordinary lives it has touched and defined.

Compelling and unforgettable, Louise Erdrich's "Painted Drum" explores the often fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, the strength of family, and the intricate rhythms of grief with all the grace, wit, and startling beauty that characterizes this acclaimed author's finest work.

 This is not a book I would have picked up on my own, but I read it for my book club.  I actually ended up liking it.  The book was not really about the drum itself but about the people.  First about about Faye and her relationships and her past.  Then about the maker of the drum and how he got to the point of where he was.  Then about the descendant of the maker and how his life changes after the drum returns.  It jumped around a little bit and I wish the ending would have wrapped up a little more.  Overall though I liked the book.

The Book for September is The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Rapture - Lauren Kate

Rapture (Fallen, #4)
The sky is dark with wings....

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this — live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies...and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her — and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

Rapture is the astonishing conclusion to the Fallen series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
 After having read 3 books and a novella in this series I was ready to have a conclusion to the story.  I felt this book to a while to get to what I really wanted to know.  Also it took Luce such a long time to figure things out when I had figured them out much earlier.  They spent most of the book looking for 3 relics that will tell them where the fall happened.  But after all this I was very happy with the ending and liked the way the author changed things at the end.  I was also glad to have an epilogue to see where the other characters ended up.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: The Foremost Good Fortune - Susan Conley

The Foremost Good Fortune
 In 2007, American writer Susan Conley moves to Beijing with her husband and two young sons. Six months later, she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Set against the fascinating backdrop of modern China and full of insight into the trickiest questions of motherhood, this wry and poignant memoir is a celebration of family and a candid exploration of mortality and belonging.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I don't usually read memoirs unless they really catch my attention.  I received this book from a Goodread giveaway months ago and I've had so many books I've been reading but I finally got around to reading this.  The first half of the book deals with Susan and her family adjusting to live in China.  Kids can adapt so easily but Susan has a harder time with the language and the culture.  I liked how I was able to see China through her eyes and actually feel like I was there.  The other half of the book deals with Susan finding out about breast cancer.  It shows how she deals with it and how her family deals with it.  The book was well written and I actually felt like I was part of it.  It amazes me how someone can just pack up and move someplace totally new and step outside their comfort zone.   

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: The Heroes of Olympus:The Demigod Diaries - Rick Riordan

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries
What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn't take kindly to intruders? How exactly are Leo, Piper, and Jason supposed to find a runaway table, dodge a band of party-loving Maenads" ("who just might be a little psychotic), and stave off a massive explosion...all in one hour or less?
With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan answers these questions and more in three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection.

*A story from Luke Castellan's point of view, from the days when he adventured with Thalia and Annabeth. Many people have asked me to write an adventure prequel to The Lightning Thief. Here it is!

*A classic first-person Percy Jackson story, the first I've written since The Last Olympian. In this adventure, Annabeth and Percy's date is interrupted by the god Hermes, whose staff has been stolen by a fire-breathing giant. This cannot be good . . .

*A Leo Valdez story, set at Camp Half-Blood. As Leo builds the Argo II, something goes terribly wrong. Now Leo will need the help of Piper and Jason, or the entire camp might be destroyed.

*And, as announced on Rock Center, the anthology includes a debut short story from my son Haley. Since Haley inspired the entire Percy Jackson series, it seemed only right that I asked him to contribute his own original spin on Percy's world for this book. I was amazed at what Haley came up with. His brother Patrick, who's a tough editor, was quick to say, "Dad, his story is better than yours!" Haley ponders the question: "What happened to the demigods who fought with Kronos's army after the battle in Manhattan?" This is the story of one such demigod, and I have to admit, some of Haley's ideas are so good I wish I'd come up with them!

4/5 stars (really like it)
The first story gives a glimpse into how Luke was when he was traveling to Camp Half Blood with Thalia.  Also gave us a little background into Thalia.  I like how we get more understanding into why Luke did what he did in the series.  Also we met a young and wild Annabeth.
The second story was great.  Percy & Annabeth are on a nice picnic and get interrupted by Hermes and sent on an errand for him to retrieve his staff.  Percy is funny as usual and Annabeth kicks butt.  But we get to see how much Percy loves Annabeth and how sweet he can be.
The third story is about Leo building the Argo II and how Jason and Piper help him retrieve an important piece that is needed to complete it.  Great to see what was going on at Camp since we didn't get to see it in The Son of Neptune.
And the last story is by Rick's son Haley and it's written very much in the style of Rick.  It helps explain the mist and why monsters can sense Heroes.  Also it is from the point of view of one of the Heroes that fought with Kronos.  It just goes to show you that the evil side is not always evil.  I wonder if this character along with another new character will be written into the series.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review: I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies - Pittacus Lore

The Legacies (Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files, #1-3)
You know we're out there, living among you.

You know we're waiting for our day to come.

You have seen the power of our legacies.

You know this is why they hunt us.

You may think you know our stories.

You are wrong.

We each have our own story.

We know the time has come to share them with you.

Our legacies are your only hope.

Six's Legacy
Nine's Legacy
The Fallen Legacies

4/5 stars (really liked it)
In Six's story we get to see a younger Six that is much more vulnerable and not as tough as the Six we have come to know.  We see her life with her Cepan Katarina.  We see how they were captured and how Katarina died.  Reading her story made me understand why she is the way she is after all she went through.
In Nine's story we also see a younger version of him and his Cepan Sandor.  Nine trains non-stop and lives in the house we saw in The Rise of Nine.  We see how his capture and Sandor's capture/death occurs.  Also how his Legacies developed.  The end of his story is where he meets John (Four).
The Fallen Legacies story is a bit different because it is the point of view of a young Mogodorian named Adamus.  His story begins when he witnesses the death of One and how her death changes his way of thinking. We next see how the capture and death of Two her Cepan occurs.  Finally the capture and death of Three and his Cepan.  It was nice to see the first three Garde's story even though they were told through Adam's point of view.  Also I am wondering now if we will see Adam in any books to come.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last, and only five lucky children will be allowed inside. But what they find is even wilder than any of the wild rumors they've heard!

3/5 stars (liked it)
I found this book for my 8 year old son to read and he read it in one sitting.  When I asked him about it, he started telling me what it was about but then handed it to me and said "Just read it!".  So I read and it was actually pretty good.  I had never read the book and have seen the old movie.  I'm glad I was able to read this and wish that I would have read it as a kid.  I had a great conversation with my son discussing this book.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: Three To Get Deadly - Janet Evanovich

Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum, #3)
A "saintly" old candy-store owner is on the lam-and bounty hunter extraordinaire Stephanie Plum is on the case. As the body count rises, Stephanie finds herself dealing with dead drug dealers and slippery fugitives on the chase of her life. And with the help of eccentric friends and family, Steph must see to it that this case doesn't end up being her last...

3/5 stars (like it)
This is the third book in the Stephanie Plum Series.  These are fun fast reads that always make me laugh out loud.  Stephanie Plum is a Bounty Hunter but not a very good one and always seems to find herself in bad situations.  There's also Morelli, a kind of sort of love interest for her.  Stephanie needs to sort out her feelings and just get together with him.  There's also Ranger a very good Bounty Hunter that we hardly know anything about.  Lulu, the ex-prostitute that now works at Vinnie's but wants to also be a Bounty Hunter.  These books are filled with crazy situations and likeable characters. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Book Review: The Rise of Nine - Pittacus Lore

The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, #3)
Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we're looking for the others--including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York--but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they'll have to fight us first.
4/5 stars (really liked it)
I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series, which will not be published until next year.  In this book we get point of views from John (Four), Six, Marina (Seven) & Ella (Ten).  The font was different but sometimes I thought I was reading one point of view but it was someone else.  There was a lot of action in this one.  A reunion I was happy about and a person was not found that I had hoped would be found.  All the members of the Garde are getting a handle of their Legacies.  Overall I loved seeing interactions between the Garde Members, especially John and Nine.  Nine is a guy you love to have hate.  Still not sure if I love him or hate him. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Book Club - August

The Canterbury Papers
The only thing I felt was a strong hand around my neck, another around my waist, and -- before I could cry out -- I smelled the thick, sweet scent of a mandrake-soaked cloth. Unforgiving hands clapped it against my face, and all went dark.
Alais, the king of France's sister, is abducted while on her mission for the wily Eleanor of Aquitaine, the former Queen of England, to retrieve hidden letters that, in the wrong hands, could bring down the English king. In exchange, the French princess was to receive long-heldand dangerous information. Now Alais, along with help from the very intriguing leader of the Knights Templar, must unravel a tangled web of family secrets and lies.
 I am not a big Historical Fiction fan but I really enjoyed this book.  Alais was a good character to get to know and I liked her from the beginning.  Other characters introduced are also interesting and made me want to know more about them.  There were some parts that I guessed right away and some that I was a little surprised about.  I will most likely read the follow up book to this as well.

The book for September is The Painted Drum - Louise Erdrich

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd - Jim Fergus

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd 
One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.
 3/5 stars (liked it)
I really enjoyed the writing style and the voice of May Dodd.  It really made be believe that everything in these books were 100% real.  May Dodd along with some of her friends went through a lot in the course of a few months.  All the women were escaping something and in the case of May, the Insane Asylum.  They all found life with the Cheyennes to be rough but enjoyable and some even grew to love their spouses.  I like how you find out what happens to each women at the end along with May's descendents.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Nights in Rodanthe - Nicholas Sparks

Nights in Rodanthe
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes a tender story of hope and joy; of sacrifice and forgiveness -- a moving reminder that love is possible at any age, at any time, and often comes when we least expect it. At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina to tend to a friend's inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne's perfect getaway will be ruined -- until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort -- and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

3/5 stars (liked it)
A short quick book to read.  I had forgotten to bring my book and have had this sitting at my desk so I thought I would read it.  Like any other Nicholas Sparks book that I've read they follow the basic formula.  A couple quickly fall madly in love, something happens to separate them and the endings aren't usually happily ever afters.  Good book to read at the beach or when you're stuck inside in a snow storm.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fall 2012 TV

Oh TV, how I've missed you.  Well not really since I do watch TV year round.  I just missed some of my shows I normally watch that have not been on all summer.  So here are the fall premiere dates for shows I watch or will watch.  All times are in Central Time.

Monday, August 13th
Grimm (NBC) - 9:00PM (will resume regular nigh Fri 09/14 8:00PM) Season 2
Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland Police Bureau learns he is descended from a line of "guardians" known as "Grimms," charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world. Throughout the episodes, he must battle against an assortment of dangerous creatures, with help from his friend Monroe (who is a reformed creature), and his partner Detective Hank Griffin.

Monday, September 17th
Revolution (NBC) - 9:00PM Season 1
Revolution takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. Fifteen years earlier, an unknown phenomenon permanently disabled all advanced technology on the planet, ranging from computers and electronics to car engines, jet engines and batteries.  People were forced to adapt to a world without technology, and due to the collapse of public order, many areas are ruled by warlords and militias. The series focuses on the Matheson family, who possess an item that is the key to not only finding out what happened fifteen years ago, but also a possible way to reverse its effects. However, they must elude various enemy groups who want to possess that power for themselves.
File:Revolution Infobox.jpg

Monday, September 24th
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) - 9:00PM Season 3
Hawaii Five-0 is an American police procedural drama television series and a re-imagining of the original 1968-80 television series.
File:Hawaii five-o.png

Wednesday, September 26th
Modern Family (ABC) - 8:00PM Season 4
This mockumentary-style sitcom chronicles the unusual kinship of the extended Pritchett clan, a brood that includes patriarch Jay (Ed O'Neill), his younger Latina wife, Gloria, and her preteen son, Jay's daughter, Claire, and her family, and Jay's son, Mitchell, who lives with his partner, Cameron.
File:Modern Family Title.svg

Thursday, September 27th
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 7:00PM Season 6
The show is centered on five characters: roommates Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, two physicists who work at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech); Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon's equally geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers, aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali . The "geekiness" and intellect of the four guys is contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense.Over time supporting characters have been promoted to starring roles: Leslie Winkle, a physicist colleague at Caltech and, at different times, a lover of both Leonard and Howard; Bernadette Rostenkowski, Howard's fiancée and subsequent wife, a microbiologist and former part-time waitress alongside Penny; and neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler, who joins the group after being matched to Sheldon on a dating website. Bernadette and Amy became prominent characters after Penny and Leonard stopped dating.

Friday, September 28th
Fringe (FOX) - 8:00PM Season 5 (final season, 13 episodes)
The series follows Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop, members of a FBI "Fringe Division" team based in Boston, Massachusetts under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses "fringe" science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe.
File:Fringe intertitle.png

Sunday, September 30th
Once Upon a Time (ABC) - 7:00PM Season 2
Emma Swan, who was abandoned at birth, is contacted by Henry, the son she gave up for adoption years ago because he needs her help. Henry believes that Emma may actually be the missing daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, whom according to his fairytale book, sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen's curse. In Storybrooke, the magic has been forgotten, but these fairytale characters are alive and well -- under a curse and forced to live in this modern-day world and have no memory of their former lives.
File:Once Upon aTime promo image.jpg
The Amazing Race (CBS) - 7:00PM Season 21
Reality game show in which teams of two race around the world against other teams, with the first-place team winning $1,000,000.
File:The Amazing Race 18 logo.jpg

Wednesday, October 3rd
Supernatural (CW) - 8:00PM Season 8
Supernatural tells the tale of two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who were introduced to the world of the supernatural when they were young boys. After a demonic force murders their mother, the boys and their father embark on a quest to hunt down and vanquish this demon. All the clues leads them down a path of the supernatural and they must find a way to save the lives of unsuspecting victims. Each episode focuses on one particular urban legend.
File:Supernatural season 7 title card.jpg

Thursday, October 11th
The Vampire Diaries (CW) - 7:00PM Season 4

The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert a 17 year-old girl, who falls for a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore.  Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's vicious and malevolent older brother Damon Salvatore  returns with a plan to wreak havoc on the town and a revenge against his younger brother. Both brothers begin to show affection towards Elena, mainly because of her resemblance to their past love Katherine Pierce. It is revealed that Elena is a descendant of Katherine, who eventually returns with plans against the trio.
The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history since its settlement of migrants from New England in the late 17th century. Other story lines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena's younger brother Jeremy Gilbert, her best friends Bonnie Bennet and Caroline Forbes and their mutual friends Tyler Lockwood and Matt Donovan. The town's politics are orchestrated by descendants of the original founding families, all comprising a "Founders' Council". Some of the founding families of Mystic Falls include the Salvatores, the Gilberts, the Fells, the Forbes and the Lockwoods. They guard the town mainly from vampires, although there are other supernatural threats such as werewolves, witches and ghosts and hybrids.
Beauty and the Beast (CW) - 8:00PM Season 1
Detective Catherine Chandler is an intelligent, take-no-prisoners homicide detective who works with her police partner, Tess. Many years ago, Catherine saw her mother being murdered by two gunmen...two gunmen who would have killed her as well, except for the fact that something stepped in and saved her life. Today, Catherine has grown into a competent and strong woman, but she still believes someone human saved her life, not an animal. While investigating a recent murder, a clue leads Catherine to Dr. Vincent Koslow, a man who was apparently killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. Of course, it turns out that Vincent is actually alive, and he's the same man who saved her life. But he's been in hiding for the last 10 years because his condition leads him to turn into a beast when he becomes enraged. After meeting with him, Catherine makes a deal: she'll keep his secret if he can help her with her mother's murder. Their partnership continues to grow and, of course, the pair find themselves drawn to each other.
File:CW Beauty and the Beast logo.jpg

Sunday, October 14th
The Walking Dead (AMC) - 8:00PM Season 3
Based on the comic book series of the same name, The Walking Dead tells the story of a small group of survivors living in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.  Most of the story takes place in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and then the surrounding countryside, as the survivors search for a safe haven away from the shuffling hordes of predatory "walkers" (as the zombies are referred to in the show) who devour any living thing they catch, and whose bite is infectious to humans. The plot is focused primarily on the dilemmas the group faces as they struggle to balance their humanity with their survival against the zombie horde, and later, how they cope with members being killed and deal with other human survivors they encounter, many of whom are dangerous and predatory themselves.
The group is led by Rick Grimes, who was a sheriff's deputy before the zombie outbreak. At every turn they are faced with the horror of the dead walking again, the changing dynamic of their group, and hostility from the scattered remains of a struggling human populace who are focused on their own survival now that the structures of society have collapsed.
File:The Walking Dead 2010 Intertitle.png

Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Review: Off The Grid - P.J. Tracy

Off the Grid (Monkeewrench #6)
On a sailboat ten miles off the Florida coast, Grace MacBride, partner in Monkeewrench Software, thwarts an assassination attempt on retired FBI agent John Smith. A few hours later, in Minneapolis, a fifteen-year-old girl is discovered in a vacant lot, her throat slashed. Later that day, two young men are found in their home a few blocks away, killed execution-style. The next morning, the dead bodies of three more men turn up, savagely murdered in the same neighborhood.

As Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to link the three crimes, they learn that there have been similar murders in other cities around the United States. Piece by piece, evidence accumulates, pointing to a suspect that shocks them to the core, uncovering a motive that puts the entire Midwest on high alert and Monkeewrench in the direct line of fire. Before it's all over, Grace and her partners, Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, find themselves in the middle of a shocking collision of violence on a remote northern Minnesota reservation, fighting for their lives. 

3/5 stars (liked it)
I started reading this series by the suggestion of a family member plus it takes place in Minnesota, which is where I live.  This books starts off pretty much where the last one left off.  Grace is on a boat with John and Leo is in Minneapolis carrying on with his life.  Grace and Leo need to sit down and have a serious conversation to figure out what their relationship really is.  Leo is jealous of John and thinks they're sleeping together.  While Grace views John as a good friend and just needed a change.  I had guess a lot of the things that would connect to each other but that epilogue sure threw me for a loop.  I hope another book gets written soon.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Book Review: Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Tris (Beatrice) is really growing as a person in this book.  She is getting over the grief of losing her parents and having her former faction destroyed.  Four (Tobias) is also dealing with issues of his own.  We also meet other Divergent people.  I cannot say much for fear of giving too much away.  But I liked this book better than the first one.  We get to know other characters, yet we are left with questions.  The ending was such a great cliffhanger!  I can't wait for the next one.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Book Review: Two For The Dough - Janet Evanovich

Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum, #2)
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is still learning the ropes at her cousin Vinnie's bail bond office, so when she sets out on the trail of Kenny Mancuso - a suspiciously wealthy, working class Trenton boy who has just shot his best friend - the stakes are higher than ever. That Mancuso is distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli - who is trying to beat Stephanie to the punch - only makes the hunt more thrilling...

Taking pointers from her bounty hunter pal, Ranger, and using her pistol packing Grandma Mazur as a decoy, Stephanie is soon closing in on her mark. But Morelli and his libido are worthy foes. And a more sinister kind of enemy has made his first move... and his next move might be Stephanie's last.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book actually made me laugh out loud.  I love Grandma Mazur, she's the type of grandma everyone would love to have around.  She's tough and says what's on her mind.  Stephanie is tough on the inside but always getting into situations that are not good for her.  Morelli is sort of, kind of, not really a love interest for Stephanie.  He's a cop that will sometimes look the other way when it comes to Stephanie.  All around a fun book to read and a fast read. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review: The Carrie Diaries - Candace Bushnell

The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1)
A teen prequel to "Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaires" is the story of how small-town girl Carrie Bradshaw becomes "the" Carrie Bradshaw.

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I read Sex and the City and watched the TV show a while ago.  I even went to see both movies.  So I was curious to see what this book was about and what Carrie was like in HS.  Plus there is a TV show that will be airing on the CW this fall.  Well I read this and thought it was okay.  Carrie is very immature and so are many of her friends.  Looks like she's had boy problems since High School.  Overall the book was okay. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review: Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12)
With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Wow I can't believe I have read 12 of these books.  They are still good but I'm not sure what else she can do with these and I think I'm ready to see the end.  I thought this book took a while to take off.  It pretty much starts off with a murder and the killer is not found until almost the end.  I was surprised at who was behind it.  Also the ending just kind of ends and I'm assuming that things will be resolved/answered in the next one.  Pretty much felt like a set up for the next book.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: The Lost Boy - Karen Mahoney

The Lost Boy (The Iron Witch, #0.5)
‘The Lost Boy’ started life as a story written for an anthology of urban faery tales. The anthology was eventually cancelled (although I’d withdrawn my story long before that happened) leaving me with a homeless story. It’s about half-fey Xan from The Iron Witch, and is set several months before that novel – before Donna even meets him – so there are no major spoilers for the trilogy. But the story does of course give some insight into Xan himself, as it’s written from his POV and we’re in his head for the duration.

Sign up for Karen Mahoney's monthly newsletter, and you’ll receive a PDF of ‘The Lost Boy’ completely free.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Xan, who we know from The Iron Witch Series is part Fae.  I really enjoyed seeing Xan and finding out part of his story and his relationship with Ivy (a changeling).  I think Xan needs his own book, maybe some kind of prequel about what it was like growing up and having his powers emerge.  Xan's world is a world that we don't get to see too much in the series.   

Book Review: Blood Fury - JR Ward

Blood Fury - JR Ward A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his cl...