Marley Millet and her entire family are each gifted with a different ability. As for Marley, she can 'travel' to different places and glimpse things that she would rather not see. In this case, she's been witnessing the deaths of local New Orleans jazz singers. She can't very well go to the cops, and tell them what she has seen without looking like a crazy person. Against her better judgement, she does just that, but the only person who believes her is an ex-cop, turned writer named Gray Fisher.
The premise of this book sounded really appealing to me, so I made sure that I got my hands on a copy. After finishing it, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't nearly as good as it could have been. Marley's character was okay, but she didn't strike me the way I wished she had. I understand that the Millet family is very secretive, and don't trust the outside world, but I personally think Marley was far too shy.
I enjoyed the bit of romance between Marley and Gray. Especially the little surprise about their romance that you'll have to wait to learn when you pick up the book for yourself. I expected something along the lines of what was exposed, because of some information strewn along the way. I however, didn't expect what was revealed about Gray toward the end of the book, and it made me understand more about him as a character.
I read this book a few months ago, but have yet to pick up the second installment to this series, Out of Mind, where we learn more about the next Millet sibling, Willow. I'm looking forward to reading about her, as she sparked my interest in the first book. (less)
I've always been a huge fan of a good fairy tale retelling, and when I read the synopsis of this book on NetGalley I had to read it. Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorites, and I wanted to read what Nevitt's take on this story would be. I was surprised at the approach, but still intrigued.
Normally, the princess is the main character, but not in this retelling. A young maiden from a tiny village, named Talia, is our main character in this situation. She isn't remarkably beautiful as most would assume. In fact, she's quite the opposite. Talia is described as being ugly, with warts, and most definitely not a looker. She has even been forced to settle with one young man as her only chance at marriage, because of her ugly features.
When Talia and her mother are forced to give up their spinning wheel, the only source to their livelihood, Talia is forced to use her dowry to keep them alive. Without that money to offer to her future husband, Talia loses the chance at becoming a wife as well.
I found this part of the Sleeping Beauty tale to be most distressing. I'm glad the author gave us insight into the lives of the people we had never before seen. I didn't particularly like Talia's character, but she was good for this part. There was a lot of sexual content in this story, and at times it felt like it was not necessary. I just wanted to skip over most of these parts, and get to the real story.
Nevitt's take on Sleeping Beauty was in fact different, but I can still only say that I only enjoyed it a little bit. I felt like she could have given us a little more magic, and romance, rather than just flat out sexual content. I would love to give more of her work a chance in the future, because I feel she has great potential.(less)
Amy Curry has been going through some rough times. Her father recently died in a car accident, and her family is pretty much falling apart now. Both her twin brother, and her mother are already out and on their way to starting their new lives. Now it's just up to Amy to pull in the rear, and leave her old life behind.
Amy is about to do her first cross country trip, but it's clearly not welcome. She would much rather continue to live in the house she has always known in California, than to move to Connecticut. She's not sure how she can even cope with getting into the car, let alone make it across the country. Along for the ride is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy doesn't recognize him at first, because the last time she seen him he was a young boy.
She is really nervous about traveling across the country with someone she doesn't even know. She has a hard time talk to people she's known her whole life since the accident, so she doesn't think this ride is going to be the most thrilling part of her summer. She soon realizes that Roger isn't the gawky looking child he used to be, and now he is in fact quite handsome. Her nervousness only increases because of this new development, and now all she can think of is how she doesn't want him to dislike her...and how she's really starting to like him.
When I first started reading this novel I couldn't decide if I was going to really like Amy or not. She was far too timid, but given her circumstances, it was understandable. All I wanted her to do was climb out of her shell and give the world another chance. I felt bad every time she mentioned how she would much rather blend into the background than be front and center. I think she needed a jolt to wake her up again, and remember that life really is worth living for, even if you make some mistakes in your life.
I liked Roger throughout the whole book, even though his obsessiveness towards a certain ex girlfriend made me want to strangle him. The more he talked about her, and the way she acted, the less I liked her. She sounded far too stuck up, and not like the kind of girl that Roger would be seen walking hand in hand with. I wanted to take his head in my hands and just make him look closer at Amy, and realize that she needed him far more, and that he might just need her just as much. He was an all around caring guy, and I can honestly say that if I were Amy, I wouldn't have had a hard time falling for him.
I loved Amy and Roger's detour in this book. While they didn't visit that many great places, their adventure was something to remember. I've never been given the opportunity to do a cross country trip, and after reading this book, it's something I've really been thinking about. Morgan Matson did a great job describing all of the places that they traveled, and made them feel more alive. Little rinky-dink towns in who knows where sounded more beautiful than some of the places that I've gotten to visit.
The more Amy traveled with Roger by her side, the more she opened up to both him and the people she met along the way. I think that their traveling was the perfect medicine, and it helped her develop more as a character. The strangers she met along the way were a big help as well, because not knowing her story, made it easier for them to just accept her for who she was and not what she has done.
In all honesty, I loved this book. If I am given the chance to have my own cross country trip, I'll more than likely be visiting some of the spots Amy and Roger landed in. I can't wait to read more books by Morgan Matson in the future, and can only hope that they are as good as this one.(less)
Henry "Hen" Birnbaum has been going through a lot this year, and it hasn't all affected him for the better. When his sister Sarah first ran away a year ago, it really tore him up. All he knew was that she did something she wasn't supposed to do, and was now a fugitive of the law. His own parents won't even give him the run-down on what his sister has done, although they know perfectly well what it was. Needless to say, Hen is tired of being considered a child, he's 16-years old now, and has the right to know some things.
The night his sister decides to return to the family, Hen's life gets worse. His girlfriend, and the leader of their band PETRA, breaks up with him in the middle of the rain, and then continues to boot him from his position as the band's bass player. It's okay though, because he never really could play the bass very well anyway. When he arrives home and finds a note from his parents claiming they've gone to pick up his sister Sarah, Hen can't believe it. He can't decide whether he's truly happy to see his sister, or still infuriated with her for leaving without even saying good-bye.
Things between him and Sarah are weird now, especially since she still won't tell him what's going on. When her friend and fellow fugitive, Gabriel Stern, offers to give him bass lessons, Hen decides to take them in hopes that Gabe will slip up and tell him what is going on. Instead it seems Gabe is more worried about Hen admitting to feelings towards his best friend, Emily Wood, that he's not even sure are really there. Emily has always been next door, and she knows just about everything about him, but can there be more to their relationship than Hen thinks?
I really liked Hen's character from the very first page. He may have been a little depressing at times, but he was extremely quick-witted and had the tendency to make me giggle. I could understand why Hen was angry at his sister Sarah for leaving, and then returning without giving him an inkling toward her reasons. On the other hand, I think he could have been a little more happy to see her, especially if he missed her as much as he claimed.
There was a lot of characters in this book, and believe it or not, despite how short it is you learn a lot about each and everyone of them. My favorite character was probably Emily, even though there were a few times that I wanted to wring her neck because of the things she was doing. She was all around good-hearted, and despite some of the things she did, they were always for the benefit of others.
My least favorite character was Petra, the ex-girlfriend. She wasn't really that bad actually, but it seemed that if you weren't cool, she wanted nothing from you. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree though, if you ask me, because her father wasn't really any better. Both characters are nice to those around them, but in the limelight of things you feel like your just not up to their standards the more you read about them.
The mystery of Hen's missing sister hovered over this entire plot, while it wasn't always front and center. Hen almost always had it on his mind, despite the fact that he tried his hardest to just leave it alone. The funny thing is, the answer to the mystery was in front of both Hen's, and the readers face the whole time, you just didn't know it. I was completely surprised when I found out Sarah's story at the end of this book, and actually slapped my knee because I was too silly to figure it out earlier on.
All around this was a great book. You learn a lot about Hen, and his friends. Despite the lack of appearance from his sister, Sarah, she is one of the main focus points of this novel. Even though you get to watch Hen grow as a teenager, and learn more about himself and those around him, you still find yourself wondering what his sister could have done to get herself into so much trouble. I'll more than likely be reading more books by Daniel Ehrenhaft in the future, because I loved his writing. I even liked that it was narrated from Hen's point of view. I'm usually not into books narrated by male characters, but his one was written perfectly, and it made me feel like I really knew Hen, sometimes better than he knew himself.(less)
Mia Gordon is on her way to spending a fun, sun filled summer on Long Island. It's the kind of vacation she deserves for feeling the heartache of being dumped by her first boyfriend. The last thing she wants to do is think about him, and the ocean is the perfect remedy.
Mia has always spent her summers on the beaches of the Hamptons in New York. It's only been for the past couple of years that her parents have decided they wouldn't bother spending their summers there, but now Mia has a chance to return to the one place that has always made her happiest. All she can think about is the sand, the sun, and the warmth of the water on her skin. Even the thought of it can clear your head and make you forget your worries. It's also high time she meet up with her favorite cousin, so they can catch up and have the summer of their lives.
When Mia arrives at her aunt and uncle's summer house, she realizes this may not be the summer of all summers. Her cousin is clearly not the person she remembers, and now they no longer have anything in common. She thought she would have someone to talk to her about her heartbreak, someone who would understand her. It's clear that her cousin no longer has the same feelings, since now she seems to look down on the world like it is nothing but a soiled napkin, and Mia is nothing more than an offensive speck.
Mia spends a great deal of her time just trying to fit in with her spoiled cousins, and their snob of a friend. When things seem to be going horribly wrong, she meets Simon at a party. He's funny, and most definitely has a way with words. Mia can't decide whether he can be trusted or not, but she soon finds herself meeting him in the middle of the night to go night swimming. The two learn a great deal about one another, and soon he's trying to coax her into skinny dipping.
I'll have to say I enjoyed this book from the very first page. While I could have chosen the synopsis from Goodreads, which gave you more insight on what the book was truly about, I chose the one from Amazon because it's what really caught my eye. I knew I was in store for something far different than what the title alone revealed.
I enjoyed Mia's character a lot, and felt bad for her when she realized her own cousins didn't really want anything to do with her. She was sweet and cared about even the smallest of things, while her cousins only cared about who and what was in fashion at the time. While I hated her cousins, and their mean friend, they were a huge part of the book. Without them, I think this book would have been rather lacking in story. They helped Mia to figure out her true self, and become something better.
As for Simon, I didn't really know what to think of him at first. I guess I felt the same way about him as Mia did, and fell for him with each passing page. He was a little on the strange side, but I think that's what made him unique, and more alluring. Despite Mia's ode to ban boys for the summer, she found herself drawn to him. He understood her, and was content to just sit and listen to her pour her heart out.
Amanda Howells was excellent at describing Mia's vacation spot. I found myself reminiscing my own summers on Long Island, although far removed from the beaches of the Hamptons. I became home-sick for the ocean, and can understand how Mia was so attached to it.
The most memorable part of this book was the ending, which I found was a huge surprise. I only started to feel like something big was going to happen a few paragraphs before it occurred. I was in shock, but found myself devouring each page looking for the same thing Mia was looking for. As much as I would like to tell you, I can't, because it would ruin the story for you. I highly recommend giving this title a try, as it's not only a romantic tale, but a coming of age novel as well. I'll most definitely be picking up more titles by Howells in the future.(less)
Ashlyn Woods really does seem just as average as the synopsis to this book implies. In fact, she felt far too average for me to even begin to like her. I found myself putting this book down more often than I actually was reading it. I actually had to stop reading this one completely when I realized that after I reached my 50 page rule I was still not thrilled with it.
While there was an undertone of something paranormal lurking under the surface, I found that I couldn't get really enjoy it because of the constant talk of politics. I know that this was part of the story, but I'm not really into politics, so this was a major turn off for me. I also didn't really like that when Ashlyn met her roommates, it was like they had known each other there entire lives. I felt like there needed to be a little more development between these characters.
Overall I can't say much for this book because I didn't finish it. I don't particularly like giving out reviews of books that I haven't finished, but in all honesty it is still an opinion, and it may help someone in the future. I just hope that there are readers out there that will find this book to be something they enjoy, and will share their opinions as well.(less)
The world has changed a great deal over the years, and now it is the year 2041. Molly McClure lives in Canada, with her family. They spend a lot of their time farming, and Molly also enjoys playing the fiddle. All is going well until they come to the realization that Molly's grandfather in the United States might be in terrible trouble. Sixteen-year old Molly is elected to go on a dangerous adventure through a country destroyed by economic collapse. One with massive oil shortages, rampant crime and abandoned cities. Molly is scared, but she is determined to make things right.
When Molly first arrives in Portland, she finds her grandparents alive. They are far too skinny due to lack of food, and while they used to be rich, they now don't have a dime to their name. Now her mission has become far more dangerous, because now she must rescue the both of them, and return to Canada.
Molly spends her time in the states trying to come up with the money to travel back to Canada, since her grandparents don't have the money she thought they would. It's hard at first, but Molly slowly learns a few tricks to keep both food in their stomachs and money in their pockets. She also has the help of a mysterious stranger, who calls himself Spill. Molly doesn't know whether she can really trust him or not, but she has little choice.
When Molly sees the local muscle roughing someone up though, she's told she can't leave Portland, because of what she has seen. With the help of Spill, they have to think of a plan to rid themselves of the crime bosses. Molly will do whatever it takes to get back to Canada.
I felt like this story was a little slow moving. Despite how Molly always found things to do, I felt like the story wasn't moving very quickly, and at times I got a little bored. I enjoyed Molly's character, because despite her reluctance to be away from her family and traveling to unknown territory, she was rather brave about it. I'm not sure if I would be able to do something like that at the age of 16, it would be far too frightening.
I enjoyed most of the characters in this book, but I'd have to say that Spill was my favorite out of everyone. I didn't trust him through the whole book, but he was a mystery to me that needed to be solved. Whenever he wasn't around I found myself wondering when he would return, and when he did I was always so excited. I'm most certain that Molly felt the same way, because despite her uneasiness towards him she was determined to learn his story.
My least favorite character of the book was probably Doug. I've read a few reviews for this title, and realized a lot of people liked him, and I couldn't understand why. He wasn't the smartest character, and he always worried more about himself than anyone else, despite his true reasons he was supposed to be there. I looked forward to the moments when he was absent, and groaned on every one of his returns.
This is the first time I've read a dystopian fiction, but despite how slow I felt it was I still really enjoyed it. I felt like the world around Molly and her family was very realistic. Everything can change at the drop of a hat, and it wouldn't surprise me if our world looked like Molly's some day. I dread the day it arrives, but unfortunately we won't have any say in the matter. I think Joelle Anthony described this 'new' world perfectly. While a lot of it was familiar, it was all different, and it actually scared me a little bit because it's exactly the way I would imagine it to be if there truly was such a collapse in economy.
This book inspired me, and I actually had a huge discussion with my fiance about the coming year of 2012. While a lot of people think that it will be the end of the world. I personally believe, that it's just going to be the end of the world as we know it today. Everything will change dramatically, and reading this book only made me think that what was between the pages might be what we look forward to sooner than we think. This book makes me want to read more dystopian fiction now, because I see it becoming one of my favorite genres.(less)
Cheyenne Wilder is lying in the back of her step-mother's SUV, awaiting her return from the inside of their local pharmacy. Her step-mother, Danielle,...moreCheyenne Wilder is lying in the back of her step-mother's SUV, awaiting her return from the inside of their local pharmacy. Her step-mother, Danielle, didn't want to leave Cheyenne alone in the car, but she insisted, as long as she leave the keys just in case she needed to turn on the heat. It's not long before the door of the SUV is opened, and quickly slammed shut. This is the first thing that alerts Cheyenne to the odd behavior, as her step-mother has only just left to fill her prescription. The next, is the smell, that is quite obviously not her step-mother's perfume. While her ears and nose have done the job of telling her something is seriously wrong, her eyes have no way of confirming it, because she is blind.
Griffin hadn't meant to kidnap Cheyenne. He just seen a really nice Escalade parked, with the keys in the ignition. Who could be so dumb as to leave such an expensive car unattended? He doesn't think about the consequences of stealing such a prized possession, he just hops in the drivers seat and peels out of the parking lot. It's not long before he discovers he has made a huge mistake. Cheyenne has revealed herself, and now he has no idea what to do. He can't just let her go, because she'd just get him caught for stealing. The only logical thing he can think to do, is take both the new ride, and the girl, back to his father for further instruction.
Upon meeting Cheyenne in this novel, I felt complete sympathy. I had no idea how a blind girl would survive being kidnapped and held for ransom. How would she defend herself if they felt the need to hurt her if she couldn't see them coming? I was scared for her, and just wanted to pull her from such a horrible situation. Despite Cheyenne's handicap, she clearly is a brave character. She doesn't let her blindness interfere with her life, although it does make it more difficult. Now she depends on her other senses in order to help her.
Griffin's character wasn't what I was expecting, at all. The only obvious thing I could figure out was that he was from a troubled home, and I soon learned why. His father wasn't the most legit person to associate yourself with. He'd do pretty much anything to make a buck, including introducing a life of crime to his son. It's no surprise that when Griffin is given an opportunity to impress his father, he takes it. His mother is gone, and now his father is all he has, so why not make him proud? I couldn't blame him for following through with the things his father expected of him, because it was all he knew. I liked learning the history of Griffin's life, and hoped for a chance for him to come out clean in the end.
Each chapter in this book was narrated in turn by Cheyenne and Griffin. They revealed their feelings, as well as their secrets. I liked that it was narrated by both the victim and the kidnapper, because it gave you a better feel of the novel. Despite it's change in narration, it never gave away what would happen at the end. I was surprised by the quick turn of events toward the end of the book, and caught myself before I shouted. It did however leave me a little stumped on the very last page, because it leaves one question unanswered, but I think you should read it to find out what.
In a novel where the main character is blind, April Henry will help you see. It's new, original, and completely fresh. It was nothing like I've ever read before, and I'm not sure if anything can compare. It was different to see through the eyes of someone who was blind, while still seeing everything so vividly. Cheyenne goes through life using her nose, ears, and hands to guide her, and Henry was able to give great descriptions of each of her experiences.(less)
Alona Dare has always been the center of attention. She was the Homecoming Queen at her high school, Groundsboro High, for three years running, so it's no surprise that she's a bit peeved about being dead. If it wasn't for the bus she happened to get run over by, she probably would still be sitting with all her friends on the first tier of the popularity ladder. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Alona is no longer the center of attention, and to make things even worse, the only person that can see, or hear her is the biggest loser in school, Will Killian.
Will Killian has always been able to see and hear the dead, but that doesn't mean that he prefers living his life trying to block out their voices. He'd much rather be a normal teenager, one that doesn't get threatened to get locked up in the closest loony bin. It takes an accident for the most beautiful and popular girl in school to talk to him, but he doesn't want anything to do with her. She needs his help before she vanishes completely, but will he give into the needs of the dead, or watch or disappear forever?
On first glancing at the cover of this book, I honestly squealed. The cover is flat out gorgeous, and I knew that I just HAD to read it. I know judging a book by it's cover is wrong, but in this case, it was completely right. I flew through this book in a matter of two days on my lunch breaks at work. Had I had the time at home, I would have curled up for hours and just enjoyed the story.
Alona's character is your typical high school debutante. I didn't like her from the get go, but then again, I'm pretty sure that's the point. She's selfish, and so stuck up that her nose can probably be seen floating through the clouds. On the other hand, Will Killian, reminds me of the students that I could be found roaming the halls with. He's quiet, reserved, and clearly doesn't want to be there, but then again, who does?
While The Ghost & The Goth is a great story about life, afterlife, it's also a wonderful depiction of how school really is for students. Everywhere you go there is a social ladder, and school is the first place it starts. Some people let it get to them, and turn into nasty people, while others, simply don't care what those around them have to say. In this story, Alona and Will learn more in a few short weeks than most people learn in their whole lives about the social ladder, and how to truly gain the respect you deserve.
I'm extremely grateful to have been given a chance to read this first installment to a new trilogy, and can't wait to see what new adventures Alona and Will have in store for them in the future. (less)
After being away from reviewing for some time, I'm going back and reviewing books that I read a long time ago and never got around to writing a review for. Thankfully I no longer have a full-time job, so I can dedicate more time to reading and reviewing. I wish that were the case back when I had read this book, because in all honesty, it was my favorite read of 2010. I literally wanted to call off of work, with the risk of being fired, to stay home and read this book. Knowing how that job treated me when I found out I was pregnant, makes me wish I had done just that.
Bertie was a fantastic character, this much I remember. I loved her from the very start, including her wild ways. I hated how the Theater Manager treated her, and he quickly became my least favorite character because of this. Her friends were always there for her though, especially her hysterically funny fairy friends. They were always doing something outrageous and I couldn't help but laugh myself to tears.
The Theater Manager gives Bertie an ultimatum. Either she makes herself useful somehow for the theater, or it's time for her to leave. So Bertie has to figure out what kind of job she can do, before she loses the only home that she has every known. My personal opinion on that is that it's horrible, why would anyone push someone out of the only home they've ever known, away from the only family they've ever had? The only clear explanation to me is that he's heartless.
This book was a breath of fresh air for me. I'm not one to go back and re-read titles, but I can see myself picking this book back up in the future. Unfortunately I lent my only signed copy to a friend and never received it back. That's the last time I lend out a book that I want to keep my hands on for a good long while. I do hope I can have the honors of owning another signed copy of this book someday, because it's something I would love to save in my collection.(less)
At first I was really interested in what was going to happen in this book, especially when there was a mystery of missing dogs all over the town. I'm an animal lover, and I certainly wanted to make sure those dogs were still alive, and well. Despite by interest in what was going to happen, I became bored with this book. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, and didn't really like the main character, Dan, either.
I may decide to give this one another try, just to see what is really going on in the town of Placerton. I'm still sort of curious as to where all of the dogs are disappearing to.
I don't want you to turn this book away merely because I had no interest in it, in fact, I want you to give it a try. I encourage you to try this book, and link back your reviews so that we can compare our opinions.(less)
The Killington High School has never felt the glory of victory at the district championship. This is the first year that they have even come close to coming out victorious in the end. They are only one win away, and now they must compete against their most ferocious rivals, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. The two separate towns have been at each others throats for as long as the two towns have stood, and now it's time for one of them to take all of the glory.
Unforeseen events take the Jackrabbits to the bottom of the river, killing every player, except their star quarterback Cole Logan. Cole is positive that what happened to his teammates was certainly no accident, it was murder. The only thing that can bring him to this deduction is that he himself was brutally attacked by three men in ski masks earlier that day, leaving him injured beyond repair. Now Cole can only think of paying back the men who have hurt so many lives, so he turns to black magic to bring his team back from the dead. With only the coaches daughter, Savannah Hickmam, they race against time to lead his zombie team to victory.
Cole Logan is clearly a bad boy. He has tattoos, and piercings, and even rides a motorcycle everywhere he goes. He's a bit of a loner, and really only wants to get out of the small town of Killington with the help of a football scholarship. It's not easy being poor in this world, and he's driven to use his talents to make something of himself. I really like characters like this, that put their all into the one thing that drives them. He was passionate about his sport, and utterly determined to become something, not just another nobody on the sidelines stuck in Killington for the rest of his life.
Savannah Hickman is pretty much the opposite of Cole. She's your regular good girl, getting good grades and even a member of the school's paper. She doesn't do anything bad, save stay up all night in order to make a deadline. The only things they have in common are their passion for getting out of Killington, and Coach Hickman, who happens to be her father. I really liked Savannah as well, and even more so than I did Cole. She really wanted to help people, and thought it was wrong to bring the team back as walking corpses. She did see that it was necessary to have them play though, so despite her fears and her worries, she stood by Cole's side until the end.
I've always liked books about the paranormal, so when this book showed up in my mailbox I was super excited. I was immediately drawn to the cover, with that decaying football player and his glowing eyes. I've never been a huge fan of football, but zombies? I'll take a zombie any way I can get him, or her. This was an exciting read, because it was not like any other zombie novel that I have ever read before. I think this well may be the first book about football playing zombies, and honestly whether you like football or not, it's a great read. I was a little confused when the author went into detail about football plays and what was a penalty or not. This didn't really bother me though, because the real story isn't about the football itself, but about never giving up on what you care about, and pushing for all your worth to make it happen.(less)
Gwen Maudsley has always been considered the "nice girl". If she's so nice, why do men keep leaving her at the alter? When her second groom jilts her, it's the last straw, no more Ms. Nice Girl. Gwen decides that maybe being naughty will get what she wants in life, and her late brother's best friend, Alexander Ramsey is the perfect man to learn from.
Alex has always secretly admired and longed for Gwen. He can't and will not be the one to see her change her ways, as he's always enjoyed her just the way she is. As much as Alex wishes to be with Gwen, he knows that he is the farthest thing from what she needs. While traversing through the Riviera, they become a lot close than intended, and Gwen knows that Alex's wicked intentions are all she needs.
Like in most romance novels, man wants girl, girl wants man, they can't have each other, blah blah blah. Yeah, that's exactly how this one sounds, right? That's because it is! This may sound like a bad thing to you, but to me, it's just the romance that I love. Every once in awhile I need to stray away from the paranormal for a good romance, and what better romances are there then these?
While I liked Gwen from the get go, I didn't particularly enjoy Alexander's character. Gwen was naive, and in all fairness, sheltered. She aimed to please everyone around her, which in my opinion is not the way to having a fun and carefree life for yourself. On the other hand, she also cared about what others thought, and wanted, and she was quite charitable.
As for the character of Alexander, from the beginning he drove me nuts. While he was admirable for his lack of caring what the world thought of him, he was also quite the jerk. Instead of being nice to Gwen for the little bit she knew of the real world, he had a horrible habit of judging her for it, and saying some rather stupid things. If I were Gwen, I would have slapped him a good one. Although I found him to be rather unpleasant, he did grow on me, and I found he was rather intriguing, and funny.
I love reading a passionate romance novel, and being surprised by little lines that make you giggle. This novel was full of them, and I was constantly giggling during my lunch breaks at work, as well as smiling because I enjoyed the story so much. I've been known to get a lot of funny looks, but by this time, I really don't care anymore. I just want to enjoy my stories, regardless of whether I make myself look silly by sudden outbursts.
As far as I'm concerned, this was a great romance, and I can't wait to read more titles by Meredith Duran. A few other titles you should look for by her are The Duke of Shadows, Bound by Your Touch, and Written on Your Skin.(less)
This review is being posted here first, rather than my blog due to release date information. (Watch my blog closer to the release date for this same r...moreThis review is being posted here first, rather than my blog due to release date information. (Watch my blog closer to the release date for this same review)
Sophie Baxter has a lot going on in her life, and it all started the day her sister was killed in a London bombing. Instead of finding an outlet, Sophie bottles up all of her feelings and holds onto them with the fierceness of a vice grip. It's only a matter of time before she can't handle the knowledge of the horrors she has endured, and she will explode. Her therapist gives her a notebook to begin writing down anything that will help her to cope, and this becomes her only outlet.
Lost For Words is written in journal entry form, and at first I thought this was going to be a big problem for me. I've never really been a big fan of reading books written to be like a journal, but in this case, it was the reason for it's success. I also thought that the short sentences would put a damper on my liking for this novel, but it only gave it more depth and feeling, as though a sixteen-year-old girl was truly pouring her heart out onto the pages.
I personally felt like I was prying into someone's private life when I started reading into the story. Sophie clearly didn't want anyone to know her dilemma, and wanted nothing more than to just forget. With her, we learn about how such a tragedy can take a toll on a whole family, and even the friends supporting it. You could literally feel how much Sophie wanted to turn back the tables and have everything be the way it used to.
The one thing that really got me in this book, was Sophie's feelings toward her sister. She was so heartbroken by her loss that nothing else mattered to her, not even her own life. It makes you think of what you may possibly be taking for granted. I have two younger sisters, and a little brother, and reading about Sophie's loss made me weep for her. Towards the end of this book I was bawling my eyes out, and practically hiccuping because I was so gripped by the story. It made me appreciate the family that I have, and since finishing it, I've been trying my hardest not to be so mean to them when they do little things that drive me insane. No one should have to go through the pain of losing someone so close to them.(less)
Daiyu was adopted when she was very young by an American family, and being the only Chinese member of her family can sometimes be a little stressing. When she is shopping at the local fair in St. Louis she meets an elderly Asian woman, who happens to be selling jewelry. She tells Daiyu that "black jade" translates to "Daiyu", and this sparks a significant interest in her. She is drawn to the ring, and eventually ends up purchasing it. What she doesn't know, is that one simple ring can mean a world of difference, in a completely different world.
While Daiyu is in this new world, she meets a young man named Kalen, who helps her upon her initial "landing". She finds that she trusts him, and doesn't truly understand why, but doesn't really care because he is kind and handsome. He brings her to the people that have made it possible for her to travel to their world, and learns that she is to be a spy, and is to help them to remove a very unwanted person from their community. Daiyu doesn't understand it all, but she is willing to help, especially knowing that she will be able to stay in this world with her new found friend Kalen for just a while longer.
When given the opportunity to review this novel, I jumped at the chance. As soon as it arrived in my mailbox I began reading it, and despite the fact that I rather enjoyed this book, I was a little disappointed. I thought the story was a little slow at times, and dragged on just a little too much through the middle. I didn't really like Daiyu's character in the beginning of the book, but slowly she grew on me. I thought she was rather selfish for a person that claimed to help people all the time. I hoped that she would surprise me somewhere along the lines, and thankfully, she did.
I was probably three quarters through the book before I really started getting into it. The story was starting to shape itself more, and Daiyu was beginning to shape as well. We learned more about her past, and the things she enjoyed, as well as her feelings toward the people around her. She began to understand her quest, and why it was so important. I was rather curious as to how things would work out for her in the end.
The romance in this novel wasn't as prominent as I expected it to be. Kalen wasn't your typical "lover boy". He wasn't perfect by all means, but he was kind and did what he could to help others. He was personally my favorite character in the book, despite the fact that I didn't get to learn as much about him as I would have liked. I actually think it was Kalen's character that had the biggest tole on the transformations with Daiyu, and for all the better.
I will definitely read more books by Sharon Shinn in the future. The idea alone of this novel was something different and exciting, and that makes me wonder what other fascinating stories she has conjured up. (less)
Campbell Stratford is sure to make a name for herself when she releases her sexy tell-all "fictographies" of famous seventeenth-century artists. What her readers don't know, is that she is more intimately involved with her subjects than they could ever imagine. It's all thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered while in a frantic rush for information to make her book that much more memorable. This portal leads her straight into the arms of playboy and seventeenth-century artist, Peter Lely. It's easy to get caught up in the moment, and after posing for a portrait for a few hours on his modeling chaise, she ends up with a night of passion that one can not forget.
Peter Lely wants nothing more to do than paint, it is what makes up his world. When the Guild of the Great Beyond come to him to in a frantic effort to thwart Campbell Stratford's plans against their reputation, he agrees to help them. He sticks to the plan, and feeds her information that will surely sabotage her work. Cam on the other hand, has other plans when she learns of Peter's betrayal, and now he must travel to Cam's twenty-first century life in order to set things right.
When I first saw the cover of this novel, I was instantly intrigued. It looked magical, and like it was going to be filled with all sorts of romance. Luckily, this time I judged a book by it's cover, it was sure to deliver. In Flirting With Forever, we get not only romance, and heart pumping passion, but comedy as well. I wasn't expecting this, but this book had me giggling and unforeseen moments. I tend to get a lot of funny looks when I start giggling in the break room at my job, but I've grown accustom to this by now.
What I personally loved about this quirky novel was the fact that it was not only set in a modern setting, but a historical one as well. The first quarter of this book you get teleported back in time to seventeenth-century London, while the rest of the book is centered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I happened to enjoy the descriptions of the historical setting far better, and itched to be relocated back to that time period. Falling through time did not put a damper on this story though, as it was always up beat and ready to entertain.
This was the first time-travel romance that I have ever read, and it has me itching to read more. Luckily, author, Gwyn Cready, has a few more up her sleeve. I've already decided that I want to read more of her work, and can't wait to get my hands on her other titles, Tumbling Through Time , and Seducing Mr. Darcy. I can only hope that they will be filled with just as much romance, and humor. She also has another title scheduled to be released September 28, 2010 by Pocket Books, and this one is going to be called Aching For Always, can't wait to see how that one will turn out! (less)
Phury has sacrificed himself in order to protect the bloodline of the Brotherhood. It is his job to be the father to many sons and daughters that will later in life protect the traditions of the vampire race, and fight any who may wish to vanquish it. He is Primal of the Chosen, an honor among his people, and one that he should be proud.
Cormia is destined to be the first mate of the new Primal of the Chosen, but she wishes to be the first and only. When first given the task she feared it, and wished she wasn't chosen to be the first. Since meeting the Primal, Cormia has fallen for him, and she is determined to win not only his body as she is taught to, but also to win his heart. She will have to try hard as Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure, joy, or the love of a woman. Phury must decide in his heart what is more important for his race, and himself...love or duty?
Phury was never one of my favorite characters within the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but he's growing on me. He's a male that looks out for others, and harbors guilt for those he has failed. It's difficult for him to let things go, and this drives him crazy. While he is very giving toward his brothers and those in need of him, he is also quite selfish. Some of the things he does are quite stupid, and not only hurt himself but those around him. I had doubts about Phury being able to do good for the race of the vampires in this installment, and worried where this story would leave the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Cormia is gentle, kind, and unknowing of the world that the Brother's live in. She has only ever known the whiteness of the Chosen's Sanctuary, and is in fear and awe of the new world around her. Simple colors make her giddy, yet she feels guilty as though she is wrong for enjoying what her eyes have been gifted to see. I particularly enjoyed being able to witness Cormia's changes throughout the novel. It was as though she were a child that had just been brought into the world, and has to learn how to talk and walk, although it wasn't as complex.
I've read each and every installment up until Lover Enshrined and I still can't get enough of this series. There is a great deal of action in this series, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Each of the characters of the Black Dagger Brotherhood have their own problems, and they either find a way to deal with it, or surpass it, and that alone is one thing that keeps me coming back. I want to see these characters succeed, and thrive, but I also fear for them, because they live in a dangerous world. I can only hold on for the ride.(less)
This review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Princess Rosalind has lived her life in shame of the dragon claw she was b...moreThis review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Princess Rosalind has lived her life in shame of the dragon claw she was born with. Every day she must don her golden gloves to hide her mark in order to be seen as the rightful heir to the throne of Wilde Island. Her mother, Queen Gweneth, is the only living soul who has seen the claw upon Rosie's finger, and she wishes to keep it that way. She will do anything in her power to keep the throne to Wilde Island safe, as well as the shame of the hideous claw from prying eyes.
Rosalind is captured by a fearsome dragon, and whisked away to Dragon's Keep. There she learns that her hideous claw is beautiful in the eyes of the dragon's, and for the first time in her life feels as though it may not be a curse, but a sign of a new fate. Rosalind barters for the safety of her people, while also building a bridge between her world and theirs. It is all she can think of that will keep both her people, and herself, alive.
The first thing that attracted me to this novel was the cover. I found it both disturbing and beautiful at the same time, which was a wonderful depiction of the feelings portrayed by the characters in this book. I love how the dragon in the background is transfixed by the claw upon the princess's hand. What one sees as something hideous, can obviously be seen as something beautiful in someone else's eyes.
Rosalind's character seemed as though she was genuinely kind-hearted, and would do anything for those around her. While she watched people within her town throw hatred towards the dragons, she found it in her heart to love them, despite her cursed hand. Would her townspeople still love her with the mark of a dragon? Would they accept her for what she was, or burn her at the stake for being disfigured? I personally had to find out, and was thrilled with the outcome of the story.
Another thing I loved about this book, was the language it was written in. There was nothing modern about the writing of this book, and this is what made it even better. The way the words were written only made the story come to life even more. It was a wonderful fairy tale that I would recommend to those who love stories filled with princesses, and dragons.(less)
This review was originally posted on my review blog, Falling Off The Shelf.
Max hasn't always been hell-bent on getting revenge for the freedom that wa...moreThis review was originally posted on my review blog, Falling Off The Shelf.
Max hasn't always been hell-bent on getting revenge for the freedom that was stolen from her. There was a time in her life when she was just another normal girl trying to make her mark on the world. All of that changed when a witch named Giselle transformed her into her own personal Shadowblade. Now Max is equipped with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance, making her the perfect weapon. Max has no choice, no matter how hard she fights against it, but on her honor she isn't going to make things easy for Giselle.
When the ancient Guardians of the earth decide it's time to destroy the mortal world, they turn to the witches for help. Each coven leader is expected to make the choice of life or death for their coven. Denying the request of the Guardians means certain death, while accepting signs the death certificate of the human race. While Max clearly hates being a Shadowblade, she can't think of what life would be like if she lost Horngate too. In order to protect her home, she must turn to her enemies, a rival witch's Shadowblade, and the witch who turned her into the warrior that she is.
Bitter Night is the first book in a new series called the Horngate Witches. In the beginning I was confused as to why Max was so eager for revenge, but reading further on in the book gave me the full picture. While her character is an awesome warrior, and clearly has no problem getting a date if she so dares, she's not perfect. She definitely has anger issues, and she knows how to hold a grudge. In my honest opinion, I think this has only made her stronger in the long run, despite the not always great outcome.
I'm only hoping that the series will continue to be just as action packed as this first installment. I'm also looking forward to seeing if the romantic interests in this book will continue in the next, and what conflicts they will create.(less)
This review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Kristina Kingsley has never really fit in with all of the students in her...moreThis review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Kristina Kingsley has never really fit in with all of the students in her school, and always happens to be the butt of every joke. She looks forward to a day when everyone is nice to her for a change, and she's not judged by what she wears or how she looks. When she receives a mysterious Christmas present, she finds herself magically dropped, literally, into a world full of creatures thought to be fictional.
In Bernovem, Kristina is known as the "chosen one", because she holds the key to their freedom. Her mysterious Christmas present is none other than a magical item known as The Magic Warble. Kristina is no longer made fun of, but is accepted for who and what she is, and is honored as the holder of The Magic Warble. Using The Magic Warble, Kristina needs to find a way to release the people of Bernovem from the evil grip of their Queen Sentiz. She will find help along the way from dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, and even talking animals.
I'm not going to say that I loved The Magic Warble, because unfortunately I didn't. I thought it was an okay novel, especially since this was Victoria Simcox's debut. It was a little juvenile for my opinion, but the story was quite interesting. While this story didn't grip me the way I had hoped it would, it did hold my interest enough to finish the story, because I wanted to find out what would become of Kristina, and Bernovem.
The characters in The Magic Warble were very well described, and it was easy to picture the characters in my mind. The description of Kristina alone makes me think of my time in school, and how the children that didn't have the coolest things were made fun of. I liked seeing one of these unfortunate children step forward and be the center of attention, and prove that she was special in her own way.
I'm looking forward to seeing more of Victoria Simcox's work in the future, and curious to see how her writing develops further in her career.(less)
This review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Robyn Peltier never knew that moving to Los Angelas would be such a eye-op...moreThis review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Robyn Peltier never knew that moving to Los Angelas would be such a eye-opening experience. It's one thing following around a famous celebutante like Portia Kane, clearly another when your being chased down by psychotic murderers. All she ever wanted to do was move away from the horrible memories of her husbands death, not walk straight into more. When her client is gunned down in the back room of a local night club, Robyn is the prime suspect for murder.
Hope Adams is Robyn's best friend, and she will do anything to clear her good friend's name. It's crazy enough that Robyn is being hunted down by the police for a murder she didn't commit, but now they have to worry about being stuck in the middle of a turf war between Otherworld Cabals. Hope wants to keep the secrets of the Otherworld as far from her friend's ears as possible, but it may be the only way to save her. It's going to take a lot of help to clear her of this one, and Hope knows just the people who can get the job done.
I've been a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld Series, and it's no surprise that I would love this book. I read a lot of reviews on Amazon before reading this book, and I was a bit skeptical. A lot of people said they got confused with the constant point-of-view change, but personally I didn't have a problem with it at all. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of different point-of-views in this installment, from Robyn, to Hope, to Karl, and even the murderer. It was a real brain boggler in the beginning. As soon as I got my bearings, which didn't take long, just a few short chapters, I was able to enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed every other installment in this fabulous series.
I loved how Robyn was determined to do her part in helping to find the murderer of her client, while not really knowing the full scheme of things. She put herself in danger quite a few times, and on many occasions needed the help of her friends to get out of it, but she did it in stride. I honestly don't know how I would react in her situation, being hunted by both the police and a psychotic killer. I'd probably end up climbing under my bed and hoping for the best.
I was super excited to finally learn more about Hope Adams, and her lover Karl Marsten. They've shown their faces in previous installments in this series, but I've been wondering when they would surface as main characters. They had always had an on and off again romance brewing, and it was nice to see how things turned out between them here.
I'm worried about what will occur in the coming novels with Hope though, because she has some big choices to make, and I hope she will make the right ones. It makes me want to pick up the next installment right now and read it, but unfortunately I'll have to find a way to get my hands on it first. I can't wait to see where things will go with the Otherworld in the next installment, Frostbitten.(less)
Andromeda Klein can likely be described as one of those weird chicks that you went to school with that you were either friends with, or you simply made fun of. To tell you the truth, even if you were friends with her you probably made fun of her as well. She's tall and skinny with no curves, and a non-existent bottom. Her hair never seems to do what she wants it to, and it tends to get worse throughout the day.
Despite all of Andromeda's problems with her appearance, her life as started to slowly go downhill. Her best friend and fellow occultist, Daisy, is dead. Her boyfriend has gone missing, and her if things could possibly get even worse, her mother has learned to text. It's safe to say that the only thing in Andromeda's life that she has left is her love of the occult, and her books, but even those seem to be disappearing!
When I first read the blurb to this novel, I just had to read it, not to mention I absolutely love that cover. I personally felt like this book dragged on a bit though, and at times I was wondering why it wasn't shorter than it truly is at 432 pages (410 according to the ARC I read). It started off quickly, and I soon learned that Andromeda would most definitely be one of those girls that I would end up hanging out with. I was always known to hang out with the strange people in school, because honestly, they were always more interesting.
I have to say, I never knew so much about the occult before this book. I'd almost have to say you'd need a little bit of a background on it to understand all the lingo, but I was able to figure it out. I have a knack for strange words, and their meanings, so I was excited to learn all of this new stuff. For someone who isn't into receiving a lesson while reading their fictional novels, and just wants the story, they had better skip this one, because honestly your going to learn something new. Frank Portman must have done a lot of research to be able to write an entire novel focused around the occult, and he did a very good job.
The middle of this novel was a little boring for me, but I pushed through and thankfully it got really good at the end. I don't want to give anything away, but if your planning on picking up a copy of Andromeda Klein, don't let that slow center turn you away, the real prize only awaits on the next page.(less)
This review was originally published on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Cerridwen has always been treated like a child, rather than the Princes...moreThis review was originally published on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.
Cerridwen has always been treated like a child, rather than the Princess of the Lightworld. Her mother, Queene Ayla forbids contact with those of the Darkworld, but keeps a Darkworlder as her personal Royal Consort. Cerridwen can't understand how her mother could be such a hypocrite, and this is just one reason why she rebels repeatedly.
Queene Ayla refuses to inform her daughter of her true origins, but only for her own safety. When she chooses to betroth her daughter to her highest-ranking counselor, Cerridwen sees this as the last draw. She packs up a few necessities and flees the Lightworld, and runs straight into the arms of the Darkworld, the most dangerous place in all of the Underground.
When first reading this book I couldn't decide whether I truly enjoyed it as much as Queene of Light, the first in the series. The main character, Ayla, was molded to fit her royal status, and lost a lot of the things I liked about her, or so it seemed. Her daughter, Cerridwen, only seemed to be a selfish brat, or in this case, a perfect example of a royal princess. The only character that I seemed to continue to enjoy was the Royal Consort, Malachi.
Instead of throwing this book to the side I pushed on, and was greatly surprised to find out that I just needed to wade through the beginning muck to find the beautiful story at the end. Despite my conflicting emotions toward this book, I found I ended up really enjoying it, especially the way the world is described so vividly. I actually felt like if I turned around I would end up in the beautiful city of the Lightworld, or in some cases, being chased through the tunnels of the Darkworld by a blood thirsty demon.
While others have reviewed this book and said that they clearly don't believe it should be marked as a romance, I beg to differ. There isn't a huge amount of romance involved, but there is an underlying tone of it, and if not for that little bit, this story would be bland and have little meaning. The love between these characters is what pushed them to do the things that they did, if it only caused a war in the process. I'm looking forward to reading the last installment of this trilogy, Veil of Shadows, to see what other kind of adventures these creatures of the Underground have to tell.(less)
Elettra is the daughter of a hotel owner in Rome, and she has always done her part to help with anything the hotel needs. When there is a mix-up with reservations, she offers to allow three children from different cities of the world to spend their time in her bedroom with her. Their first night, they discover that not only do they now share a bedroom as their sleeping quarters, but the same birth date, February 29th, Leap Day. It is a coincidence that shouldn't be looked over, and is the start of a fantastic adventure for these children.
Harvey is from New York, and he is probably the most logical of the children. He's not the type to rush head first into a situation without thinking it over first, and to him, a coincidence is just that. He has always been a quiet child, but an adventure in the city of Rome may be just what he needs to wake him up.
Mistral is from Paris, and she is an only child, living with her mother. She's artistic and doesn't leave home without her sketch pad. She is elegant, quiet, and never gets into any trouble. She thinks that there may be something behind the coincidental birthday issue among her and her new found friends, and she's all for an adventure, even if it does sound scary.
Sheng is from the city of Shanghai, and he is by far the goofiest of the four children. He is loud, and outspoken at times. The prospect of an adventure only makes him more excited, but he also brings comedy to this novel. I found myself looking forward to moments with Sheng, as he always seemed to make the best of things throughout their adventure.
When reading this book, I had only really one complaint, and that was the point of view in which it was written. I felt like it needed to be written in more of a first person view, rather than the third-person aspect that it was. I would have enjoyed this story more if I were able to read it from the point-of-view of the children. I think it would have given the book more feeling, especially during the times where they were faced with decisions that would induce great emotion.
I also have to admit that for a child, this book may seem a little scary at times, especially when the man that forces the briefcase on them is murdered. I was a little shocked at the method of killing that the murderer used, as well as some of his other actions. Personally my sister would be able to handle this, as she is mature for her age at 10, but I've noticed that some children aren't as lucky.
I'm more than willing to continue reading this story, and look forward to reading the second installment, Star of Stone, where their adventure will continue in the streets of New York. It's scheduled to be released on September 28, 2010, according to Amazon.(less)
Cynda Flynn is a regular fire bug, because it's her choice weapon. Fire flows through Cynda's veins as true as the blood. She is the pestle of her triad, and will do her part in protecting the innocent. She is always prepared for battle. This time she's unprepared, and it's all due to an undercover cop from the NYPD Occult Crime Unit, Nick Lowell. Nick is no ordinary man, in fact, he's half-demon as well, and hotter than any flame Cynda can produce. She doesn't understand her feelings for him, but she's determined to find out what he has over her.
Nick knows how to control his demon half, with a lot of self-control and steel will. He likes to think he's unbreakable, after working with the deadly Legion cult for five years, if the most evil of people can't break him, surely he can't be broken. He learns he's not made of stone, and his soft spot is Cynda Flynn. He's determined to find the evil source that is destroying fire Sybils like Cynda.
Bound by Flame is book two in the Dark Crescent Sisterhood series, and even better than the first installment. I personally loved Cynda's character, especially her power over fire. Reading about a characters emotions can sometimes be a little confusing, but with Cynda, her flames speak for her. When she's angry, you know it, because half the city can go up in flames around you. It might well be the case if she's in a passionate tussle with one Nick Lowell.
Anna Windsor makes a great story, filled with lots of action and just enough romance to keep you interested. I personally had a hard time putting this book down, and would recommend it to all paranormal romance readers. The story of the Sibyl is original, and full of a history of many cultures, all coming together to fight the forces of evil. I honestly can't wait to see how this story progresses in the third installment, Bound by Light, where we will learn the story of Merilee Alexander, the third Sybil of this fantastic triad.(less)