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Book Review: The Chosen - J.R. Ward

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The Chosen - J.R. Ward Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convinced of treason against the Blind King is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deed, he accepts his soldier's fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.
Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor's life.  But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear--even her role of mother to her precious young.  Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever lobe.  Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.
As a dangerous old enemy returns t…

Book Review: The Wonder - Emma Donoghue

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The Wonder - Emma Donoghue In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.
Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation.  Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.
Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, The Wonder works beautifully on many levels--a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.
3/5 stars (liked it) At times I just wanted to smack Anna and tell her to eat!  Other times I wanted to smack her parents and the whole community for allowing an …

Book Review: Enders - Lissa Price

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Enders - Lissa Price Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael--teens with chips in their brains.  They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations--Starters who can be controlled and manipulated.  With the body band destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders.  But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do.  Like hurt someone she loves.  Having the chip removed could save her life--but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father.  Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too...and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear.  Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?
No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man.  Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth.  Even if it kills her.
3/5 stars (liked it) This b…

Book Review: Starters - Lissa Price

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

Book Review: Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs

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Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.
Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars.  A fork-tongued princess.  These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Series.
Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe audio volume of Tales of the Peculiar, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.  
4/5 stars (really liked it) These stories were great and I love how we learn about the world of Peculiars.  I especially like how time loops were created and how peculiars were a long time ago.  Some of these stor…

Book Review: Bossypants - Tina Fey

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Bossypants - Tina Fey In her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey announced that she was proud to make her home in "the 'not-real America'."  It is perhaps that healthy sense of incongruity that makes the head writer, executive producer and star of NBC's Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock such a cogent observer of the contemporary scene.  Bossypants, her entertaining new memoir, shows that strangeness has been her constant companion.  Fey's stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans.  Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.
4/5 stars (really liked it) I love Tina Fey.  I loved her on SNL, as a writer and in the show.  I also loved 30 Rock.  It was great to hear how she got to where was is today.  I loved hearing about her early jobs, her honeymoon and her husband's fear of fly…

Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms - George R.R. Martin

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms - George R.R. Martin Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones,  A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R.R. Martin's ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.
3/5 stars (liked it) This book contains three short stories dealing with a Hedge Knight named Ser Duncan and a small boy named Egg (Aegon Targaryen).  My favorite story is the first one where these two meet. The second story is okay but the third one is good.  I loved the illustrations in this book almost as much as the book itself.

Book Review: The Magicians - Lev Grossman

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The Magicians - Lev Grossman Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York.  There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze -- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery.  But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would.  After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning.  But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined.
3/5 stars (liked it) I didn't really like Quentin, I thought he was a bit dull, whinny and mopey.  I did like the other characters though.  This book spans his whole college education.  While most of his college times are fairly normal and boring it isn't until he graduates and is living in the real world that th…

Book Review: Yes Please - Amy Poehler

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Yes Please - Amy Poehler In Amy Poehler's highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big  juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious.  Powered by Amy's charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.
4/5 stars (really liked it) I decided to listen to the audio book instead of reading this since it is read by Amy Poehler herself.  I'm so glad I did, I don't think the book would have been as great without her voice and some other celebrity voices.  Sometimes I felt like I was listening to a radio show instead of a book.  She's funny and serious all at the same time.  I loved Amy before and now I love her even more.

Book Review: When She Woke - Hillary Jordan

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When She Woke - Hillary Jordan Hannah Payne's life has been devoted to church and family.  But after she's convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life.  She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes--criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime--is a sinister form of entertainment.  Hannah is a Red for a crime of murder.  The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.
A powerful re-imagining of The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chromed …

Book Review: The Burning World - Isaac Marion

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The Burning World - Isaac Marion R is recovering from death.
He's learning how to breathe, how to speak, how to be human, one clumsy step at a time.  He doesn't remember his old life and he doesn't want to.  He's building a new one with Julie.
But his old life remembers him.  The plague has another host far more dangerous than the Dead.  It's coming to return the world to the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak, and stopping it will require a frightening journey into the surreal wastelands of America--and the shadowy basement of R's mind.
3/5 stars (liked it)
I loved the first book, I liked the sequel.  Although I really wish we could have found out what R's full name was.  This book involved flashbacks to R's life before he became a zombie.  He finds out he's not the person he wants to be and fights the memories.  We also learn a little bit about Julie.  New characters are introduced too.  I can't wait to read th…

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch.  Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier.  Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life.  Clay is one of them.  If he listens, he'll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide.  He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
3/5 stars (liked it)
I felt sorry for Hannah and Clay.  The snowball effect caused Hannah to kill herself.  Many people contributed to her life and making it worse.  From people starting rumors to people not really seeing her.  It's a very compelling book and I couldn't put it down just to see who the next person on her list …

Book Review: We Are The Ants - Shaun David Hutchinson

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We Are The Ants - Shaun David Hutchinson
There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn't.
Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes.  He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend.  He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer's.  And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.
What Henry doesn't know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn't know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship.  He doesn't know why the world is going to end or why the aliens offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.
But they have.  And they've only given him 144 days to make up his mind.
The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving.  That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces…

Book Review: Library of Souls - Ransom Riggs

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Library of Souls - Ransom Riggs The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls.  As the story opens, sixteen-year old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he's diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress.  Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.
They'll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil's Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England.  It's a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.  Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.
4/5 stars (really liked it) I thought this was a great conclu…

Book Review: Blood Vow - J.R. Ward

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Blood Vow - J.R. Ward The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society.  Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter--and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy.  When and aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he's unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.
For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe's dangerous appeal is enticing--and possibly a distraction from her grief.  But as they delve deeper into her cousin's death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.
Rhage, the Brother will the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential.  But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary's new famil…

Book Review: Marked - Sara Fine

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Marked - Sara Fine In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city.  What most don't know--including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis--is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife.  Once humans are "Marked" by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.
Unaware of Cacy's other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon--who happens to be Cacy's father.  Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past.  But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time.  Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, o…

Book Review: A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin

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A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance--beset by newly emerging threats from every direction.  In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death.  But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her.  As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.
Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys.  But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenery's claim to Westeros forever.
Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone--a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, will face his greatest challenge.  For he…

Book Review: Every Day - David Levithan

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Every Day - David Levithan Every day a different body.  Every day a different life.  Every day in love with the same girl.  There's never any warning about where it will be or who it will be.  A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached.  Avoid being noticed.  Do not interfere.
It's all fine until the morning A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.  From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.  Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with--day in, day out, day after day.
3/5 stars (liked it) I've had this book on my to-read list for a while.  I finally got around to reading it and I'm glad I finally did.  A is very likeable and honest and caring.  He switches bodies every day but respects the body he's in and tries not to interfere.  He falls in love with Rhiannon and tries very hard not to disrupt things.  I like the developing relationship…

2017 Reading Challenge

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I decided to start this reading challenge for this year.  I know we're two weeks into the new year but I thought it would be fun to do.  It seems simple enough and I think I can do it!  Wish me luck.

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye - Tania del Rio

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Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family's ancient hotel.  It's a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles--and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye.  Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it?
This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.
This book was so cute.  I loved all the illustrations and the story line.  I think this book would be perfect for middle-grade and up including adults.  I felt so bad for Warren and how his aunt and uncle treated him.  I fell in love with all the characters and hated the characters I was supposed to hate.  Warren especially is so likable.  I highl…

Book Review: Wreckage - Emily Bleeker

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Wreckage - Emily Bleeker Lillian Linden is a liar. On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she’s been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can’t tell the real story—so they lie.
The public is fascinated by the castaways’ saga, but Lillian and Dave must return to their lives and their spouses. Genevieve Randall—a hard-nosed journalist and host of a news program—isn’t buying it. She suspects Lillian’s and Dave’s explanations about the other crash survivors aren’t true. And now, Genevieve’s determined to get the real story, no matter how many lives it destroys.
In this intriguing tale of survival, secrets, and redemption, two everyday people thrown together by tragedy must finally face the tru…