What happens when your father embezzles your school's money and you become a pariah? You come up with a plan to repay the money by minting "error" coins at the Philly mint! Just a few of these coins, sold on the market, could be enough to repay the funds that Jason's dad has lost to day trading.
Four high schoolers are thrown together in a design class and visit the US Mint as part of their class. You have Alice, queen of the nerds, who hasn't met a math problem she couldn't solve. Jason, whose father is responsible for the financial downfall of the school and a bit of a rebel. Dakota, picture and paper perfect, but has several dark secrets and has some self esteem issues. And Benny, the star football kid and scholarship student who wants out of the crushing poverty he lives in. Each has their own reason to save the school, but these four unlikely friends overcome their inner voices to pull this off. Except they don't quite do it right or according to plan.
I really enjoyed this almost perfectly clean read. There is just a bit of language that is well placed, but nothing out of the ordinary. There is a bit of romance between Jason and Alice (the nerd who is actually unknowingly cute) and between Benny and Dakota. These four kids are from all opposite ends of the social spectrum and wouldn't normally have never come together. So yes, you get that special kiss at the perfect moment. There is just enough suspense to make your heart rush in parts, wondering if these kids can hack into the mint's computers and then actually steal the newly minted coins. I look forward to more from this author!
Marie-Victoria is heir to the Franco-British Empire and Aelwyn, bastard daughter of Merlin, have grown up in the castleMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Marie-Victoria is heir to the Franco-British Empire and Aelwyn, bastard daughter of Merlin, have grown up in the castle together but once they reach an age where Marie must start to rule, Aelwyn, has decided to devote herself to the crown as a supplier of magic. Queen Eleanor, has ruled the Empire for over one hundred and now see her ends is near. With the help of her Merlin, she seeks to marry Marie for political gain to the crown prince of Prussia. Even as the two countries have been at war, the two girls have had long visits with Leopold and Wolfgang. Leo is promised to Isabelle, once the heir to the French throne while Wolf as the younger son is left to his own devices.
Just to make things interesting, Wolf meets Ronan Astor, a socialite from New York, whose family has fallen on hard times. She is on the move to make a match with a rich and titled man to save the family. The pair find instant chemistry and Ronan is just the one to take his heart. The magic is an underlying current through out the story which is set in an alternate history of what would have happened if the British had continued their dominance and they controlled all of the power by restricting the use of magic. With this historical background and a Game of Thrones feel, this is the start of a wonderful new series.
The story reads like a celebrity expose' and will keep you very entertained. I really didn't want to put it down when I started and the balance of dialogue, action and descriptive elements gave me everything I wanted in a fun read. There are plots and subplots galore with twists and turns you won't expect. I really can't wait to read what happens next since this one ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. Parents: This one is best for mature teens since there are mentions of sexual situations, violence and alcohol. ...more
Colin has misspent his youth on drink and wicked women and now must pay the price when his family home is being sold outMY THOUGHTS
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Colin has misspent his youth on drink and wicked women and now must pay the price when his family home is being sold out from under him. He always assumed he would inherit the property where his mother is buried but his father believes that he is not serious about settling down. When Colin makes every excuse not to find a wife, his father gives him a deadline to find a wife or the property will be sold within six weeks. His father has since remarried and now the father of twin girls, Bianca and Bernadette, and with his stepmother, Margaret, live on the neighboring estate.
Angeline has known Colin since childhood and had been at odds with him ever since. Now that she has broken off her engagement to a scoundrel, she is shunned and now looking at life as a spinster. Her real sorrow at the whole mess means that her little sister, Penny, won't have a proper debut, even though her father is an earl. At a house party, Colin and Angeline are thrown together and decide to make the best of a bad situation. She decides to help Colin take inventory of the house and with her skill and eye for design, the two actually talk instead of bait each other.
Both are in need of marriage, Colin to inherit and Angeline to repair her reputation, but Angeline will not marry just anyone. She wants to have love and even though she realizes that it may not be there at first, she decides to work for it. Colin doesn't even realize how much he adores Angeline until it is almost too late. SIGH! They develop a connection that seems natural and full of chemistry. This was a fast read for me and I didn't want to put it down. It had a lot of humor, a bit of drama and that HEA that I crave. Of course, a dog mixed in the plot with a little pug named Hercules. Again, Dreiling has outdone herself creating likable characters with a plot that makes reading a pleasure.
More, please. I really want to read about the twins but I know the next one will be Colin's friend, Harry in WHAT A DEVILISH DUKE DESIRES. And, yes, I read every word in that excerpt since I didn't want the story to end. ...more
Seventeen-year-old Harlow has been adopted by the creepy genius behind VisionCrest and is watched constantly. Forced to be "on", shmy thoughts loved it
Seventeen-year-old Harlow has been adopted by the creepy genius behind VisionCrest and is watched constantly. Forced to be "on", she really has no one to relate to and when the voices in her head begin to be violent, she wonders how she can keep her secret. As VisionCrest controls more and more of the population, she would rather listen to punk rock than deal with the religion her father has created. This corporate style religion will have you thinking seriously about some others like it. After a series of kidnappings and now travel to Asia to promote the religion like cult, she begins to see and hear more gruesome things in what seems an alternate reality.
Reunited with Adam, her one childhood friend and crush, she tried to keep the voice in check. Now that Adam has returned after being kidnapped, he seems changed. As Harlow tries to fight the voice, she becomes overwhelmed with it. Of course, there is some perfect chemistry going on here. The ending just brings everything together perfectly. ARGHH -- I really want to tell all, but I don't want to ruin it for you. Filled with a bit of graphic violence and some kissing, this should be fine for younger teens. Fans of Gretchen McNeil and Brenna Yovanoff are going to adore this new one. ...more
Aubrey has survived a major scandal, lost her job and her boyfriend and has now taken over her aunt's bookstore in betwMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTLEY LOVED IT
Aubrey has survived a major scandal, lost her job and her boyfriend and has now taken over her aunt's bookstore in between the flower shop and bakery while trying to make a new life for herself. She had a "reputation" as a teen, some of it deserve, some of it not. She wanders into an AA meeting by accident and stays long enough to take in one of the steps that requires making amends to those you have wronged, so she starts a list. On her list are several locals, that won't accept her apology but she is going to try until she succeeds.
Ben has lost his wife five years ago and has finally moved back to Lucky Harbor after travelling the world helping others. He is the golden boy of the area and no one wants to see him end up with Aubrey. When her uncle hires Ben to renovate the book store, the two are in constant contact. Ben sees through her "perfect" veneer and tries to find out if her wild reputation is actually based in fact. Throw in some family issues, a town full of nosy neighbors and immense chemistry between the pair and you have a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
I have no idea how Jill Shalvis does it. I swear I am just going to read a chapter and then find myself three hours in without even noticing the time. This series is just full of interesting characters and even thought the characters appears steadily in each book, you can easily pick up any one and read it in any order. There is a perfect mix of dialogue, romance and chemistry that will make you tear through each one. ...more
Jordan is now being forced into the role as a conductor on the airship, Artemesia, while Rowen is now aboard a ship that conducts trade, not all of itJordan is now being forced into the role as a conductor on the airship, Artemesia, while Rowen is now aboard a ship that conducts trade, not all of it above board. The pair, now separated, are both fighting for survival and Rowen has vowed to find Jordan once again and rescue her. The Artemesia has an assortment of passengers including the Maker, Bran and his daughter. Bran has been kidnapped by those in opposition to his creations and Wandering Wallace has ulterior motives as well. That little turn in the plot caught me off guard. This is one of the better second in a series I have read in a long time. I thought this really gave the Weather Witch a run for the money. Jordan story in this one is almost more heartbreaking than the first. She does come out a stronger person and it is such a surprise turnaround that it will take you off guard. I had a few weepy moments as what she endure aboard the ship and her imprisonment comes to light. Rowen on the other hand, is forced to grow up a bit, which I never expected he needed. I though he had it pretty well together but when the captain of the ship, Elizabeth, points out the holes in his rescue plan, he does meet the mark. I found this installment amazing and heatbreaking at the same time. What Jordan has been forced to endure will indeed make her a stronger person, but getting there isn't easy or pretty. There are some wonderful insights to minor characters and they really help move the plot along as well as make me wonder what else they are up to. Parents: This is best suited for older teens since there are themes of slavery, abuse, violence and some language. This series would spark a nice conversation on these subjects that mirror what is happening around the world today. ...more
Cassie is whisked away to be part of a special school that trains teens to be detectives and solve crimes that are normally unsoMY THOUGHTS - LOVED IT
Cassie is whisked away to be part of a special school that trains teens to be detectives and solve crimes that are normally unsolvable. She has special skills that allow her to read people and put little details together to form a bigger picture that can pinpoint the criminal. There are other teens in this small group of "Naturals" that have skills ranging from those who can visualize a crime to those who can "see" what the criminals are thinking. There seems to be a paranormal element to these teens, but it is only regarded as a gift. These kids are extremely intelligent and are somewhat ostracized or in trouble because of their gift.
Cassie also is a special case since she now lives with her grandparents after her mother is brutally murdered. You can quickly see where this is going since she will soon be researching the crime surrounding her mother's death that has been a cold case for years. When she is recruited by Tanner, an agent who turns out to be around her age, she finds herself finally able to use her ability to find out exactly what happened to her mother. I tried to guess who the killer would be, but I was wrong at every turn.
The minor characters are really memorable and I can see spin offs to follow them. Lia, a clothes horse and human lie detector, was one that really stood out. Michael, a stats expert, has a really sweet side, but all of these characters are damaged and that makes them even more interesting. Any one who enjoys a good psychological thriller and mystery will love the start of this new series. Parents: There is some language, violence and kissing. ...more
In this follow up to Auster's memoir, Winter Journal, he continues his second person journey into his past. Instead of more of the same, he goes moreIn this follow up to Auster's memoir, Winter Journal, he continues his second person journey into his past. Instead of more of the same, he goes more into what he was feeling while growing up and these feelings are something every baby boomer can relate to. He has a fascinating take on the Kennedy assassination, growing up with movies and television. Auster relates his first love, realizes that he is middle class, but not rich, and how his childhood has made him into what he is today.
This is a beautiful work, one that everyone can relate to in some way. I think it will have more impact on the older generation since some of the memories are one that everyone shares that grew up in this time period. The details come together much like one looks at a landscape, you notice the trees at first and then realize that there are flowers woven in. It is all these little details that make up his life and make it so fascinating to read. Anyone who loves memoirs, will enjoy this one. ...more
McCune decides she wants a puppy, and like most people, doesn't really consider the breed and all of the training necessary to briMy Thoughts Loved it
McCune decides she wants a puppy, and like most people, doesn't really consider the breed and all of the training necessary to bring up a dog. This book is about her experience bringing home an adorable Australian Shepherd and what it takes to have a wonderful companion and good canine citizen. I don't think she realized when she picked out this cute puppy that Aussies are one of the smartest breeds around. I didn't either when I got mine. This story is part memoir, part puppy manual and a whole lot of fun!
Interspersed with the author's odyssey to train her pup, Duffy, she relates what she thinks her dog is thinking. I know I have done this myself. And once you get to know your dog and really communicate with them, you really do know what they are thinking. The parts where Duffy "thinks" and told in his voice are fun and sweet. I really had to laugh at how accurately she describes how how an Aussie thinks, they really are so intelligent. I had no idea what I was getting into when I got my Blue, but he turned out to be the best dog ever after going through much of what McCune went through to train him. ...more
I am always amazed by the content in these stories, some as short as two words and the pictures that accompany them. ThMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
I am always amazed by the content in these stories, some as short as two words and the pictures that accompany them. They relate more in few words than most authors can do in a thousand words. I am always taken by how perfect these short stories are. I have read both prior books and these make wonderful gifts for even the most picky person. If you are a fan of the Six Word Memoir books, this series is right up your ally. ...more
When Cat Warren gets a gorgeous German Shepherd, he is all parts uncoordinated, curious and needs a job. Like most working breeds, shepherds are happi When Cat Warren gets a gorgeous German Shepherd, he is all parts uncoordinated, curious and needs a job. Like most working breeds, shepherds are happiest when they have a job to do and when Warren takes her boy to a trainer she knows he needs a job, but she also knows that she physically couldn't keep up with a search and rescue team. She had never really thought of a cadaver dog, but Solo, proves to be a standout early on. And so, the pair have found a calling and not a likely one for the author. Much like Mary Roach attacks a subject, Warren leaves no stone unturned in explaining the science and psychology behind these working dogs.
First off, I got that "ewww" feeling when Warren describes exactly what Solo would be doing, but the whole story is just so fascinating and balanced between personal anecdotes with the science behind the skills, that I just couldn't put it down. The importance of these working dogs is not really that well known. I have read Susannah Charleson's books about training service dogs and this gives a whole new facet to the interesting lives they have. I admire people that have the time and patience to do the hard work that provide these services to help the public. I know from being around my dachshund that the power of scent in dogs is amazing. ...more
So spring has turned to summer and the moms on probation have completed all of the challenges put forth by Bettina, theMY THOUGHTS ABSOLUTLEY LOVED IT
So spring has turned to summer and the moms on probation have completed all of the challenges put forth by Bettina, the sadistic leader of the Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club. Ally and Jillian have launched a pie shop that is turning around Jillian's life. Jade has managed to keep her history secret - or so she thinks. Lorna has accepted that her son has Autism but won't quit the club because she has seen him respond so well to the small interactions there. And then, all hell breaks loose.
When Bettina confronts Ally about her fake marriage to Barry, she kicks her out of the club and when Jade is confronted by the other moms, she admits that she told Ally's secret. Barry, a determined lawyer, Ally's neighbor and sperm donor, try to help her get over the loss of membership, he confronts Bettina in a unplanned meeting at an art museum. He threatens to take down the whole group because of their unfair rules and procedures. The other side of this coin is what is going on with Jade. She has pissed off her ex by her betrayal of Ally and now her secret is known to Bettina, but she has no clue.
Even though all of these women have joined this club to ensure success for their children, they are finding that the club may not be all that wonderful for them. This one ends with a spectacular cliffhanger that will be driving me up the wall for the next three months. These books have everything right. There is fast dialogue, a bit of naughty situations, wonderful descriptions of how the other half lives and fast paced. These should really be a television series. Maybe Netflix is listening to me? ...more
This isn't so much a parody and it is more of a satire of current events and internet trolls. It is somewhat based on The Hobbit with AREALLY LIKED IT
This isn't so much a parody and it is more of a satire of current events and internet trolls. It is somewhat based on The Hobbit with Aaron Sorenkinsheild and his little people quest for the gold (academy awards) that a dragon (PUFF!) controls. There quest, of course, this being an Internet meme, is a YOLO. It contains everything from the Kardashians, Harry Potter to Star Wars with some middle earth memes thrown in for balance. It is super sarcastic and makes fun of almost every flame war that occurs on the Internet these days. I mean troll and flame wars are literal here!
The characters mirror those in The Hobbit, but just barely. Bilbo Baggins is re imagined as Billy Bagboy, an obese troll, who considers eating as much as possible as his true occupation. Gandalf has become Dumbledalf, in sort of a cross breeding with Dumbledore. While Elrond is now L. Ron, purveyor of bad science fiction and you can guess the rest. Overall, this had quite a few laughs if you are Internet friendly and adore The Hobbit. I think it probably has an expiration date since a lot of the references will have died in a few years. ...more
Kat has developed an incredible following on her style blog at the age of fourteen, so when a giant box from a new company called Glitter Girl shows up with an invitation to be the face of their product line, she is giddy with excitement. Then Chelsea, the vice-president in charge of marketing the line shows up, things get weird for Kat. Her best friend and next door neighbor, Jules, sees some changes in Kat as she gets trapped into the whole glamour of the launch. Jules has a falling out with Kat as she chooses the Glitter Girl launch extravaganza over her birthday party which falls on the same day. The two have never had a party apart since they have lived next door to each other.
There are lots and lots of little details that make Kat really human and likable. She hates it when people are mean, yet she falls into the same trap when egged on by Chelsea. She becomes mean to Jules, which makes her feel horrible. At fourteen, she is not above being manipulated but her parents must have done a few things right since she does have great empathy for others around her. Her parents comes off as a bit superficial at first. Her father travels constantly in order to make money and her mother is placated by spending it. By the end of this story, Kat has managed to turn this around.
Overall, this is a story that will make you feel good and teach young teens that peer pressure can affect even the most in tune teen. As Kat becomes true to herself, she becomes stronger and happier. This is also a story about the worth of being popular and the cost. I would recommend this to reluctant readers since there is a bit of a fantasy angle that most young teen girls will enjoy. It is very clean, with just a kiss or two thrown in.
Nessa Joanne Mulholland has a slight Marilyn Monroe addiction and she tries to channel her no matter what in a sort of "What WouldMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Nessa Joanne Mulholland has a slight Marilyn Monroe addiction and she tries to channel her no matter what in a sort of "What Would Marilyn Do"system. She is thirteen and soon to be fourteen, has just shipped out to a new location with her professor father as he travels to his new job in France as well as conducting a study about vacation romances. Her whole life is turned upside down when she spots Holly Isle on the boat and Holly actually speaks to her and OMG! she befriends Nessa. Holly even has a high school aged nephew named Marc travelling with her.
In homage to Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Nessa dreams up a system to help save Holly's love life since she has just dumped fiancee number three. I know, this is a bit of an extreme fantasy that a thirteen year old girl can be BFF with a movie star but the story makes you believe it can happen and Nessa has such a good heart and brain that the whole thing seems really plausible. There is such chemistry between her and Marc and when they kissed, it was just so sweet. What wasn't sweet was when she got caught up in her lies after trying to fix Holly up with her personal paparazzi, Ted.
The ending, while a bit predictable to my grown up eyes, is just what a younger teen would demand. This is an easy to read and fun story which is perfect for reluctant readers. It is a pretty clean read with just a few kisses worked in and some mentions of adults using alcohol. Do yourself a favor and stock up on some maraschino cherries before you start this one since you will be craving them as you get into the story. ...more
Scarlett has grown up on Catalina Island right off the coast of California surrounded by nature and a small knit community. After aMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
Scarlett has grown up on Catalina Island right off the coast of California surrounded by nature and a small knit community. After a troubling summer , she has just started her senior year and kissed her first boyfriend, Will, good by as he heads off to Yale. They text and talk, but is getting the feeling that the distance may become a problem. On top of this, her parents have separated, with her mother moving to Los Angeles to take up her career as a lawyer since the Bed and Breakfast they run has fallen onto hard times from the neglect of the past year. Her older brother has recently died from an aneurysm and it has torn the family apart. Her best friend, Lily, has returned from a trip to Amsterdam a changed person, and more wild than Scarlett could ever image.
With all of these changes, Martin, Will's father, has directed her to a friend that practices Kabbalah in hopes that she will find some peace. Will also has a secret that might be driving the pair apart: he can see horrible things before they happen and is driven to prevent them. This is a gift that cost his own mother her life. So along with this insight, a new boy starts to pay attention to Scarlett and now she is questioning if her love for Will is really true. Newly transplanted from the UK, Gunner is present and doesn't have the problems that she and Will must now face. As Scarlett tries to answer questions about her feelings, she also is trying to find the answer to the meaning of life.
This story is filled with beautiful descriptions as well as perfectly balanced dialogue. The bits of paranormal are woven in so naturally that the gift Will has just seems natural. The small town vibe of Catalina is a perfect background to Scarlett's own struggles with growing up in a now broken family. I really enjoyed the mysticism and how it all worked in the plot. These characters all seem like kids I know with all of the flaws and accomplishments they should have. I look forward to reading more about them. ...more
This book is a lot of fun and full of information in easily digested takes on princesses through out history. There is no sugar coaMY THOUGHTS LOVED IT
This book is a lot of fun and full of information in easily digested takes on princesses through out history. There is no sugar coating these women. Some are hussies, villains, crazy and down-right smart. Most of them are marginalized in some way by men, who sought their power and wealth. Of course, since men historically have written the books on the past, it is hard to find the truth in what these women were actually like. I truly enjoyed the chapter on the mad princesses. It was Princess Juana of Spain that truly struck me as being painted as ill when the men in her life were just going for a power grab.
The stories could almost appear in People magazine since they paint these women as very interesting characters that try to get to the meat of the story rather than the glossing over by history. I would love this to be a television series on the History Channel. That would be such a wonderful take. Each week could star a new historical princess from ancient to modern times. And modern times are covered nicely here as well, with Britain's Princess Margaret and Diana noted....more
Willa, now identified as one half of Shilla after marrying her match.com find, Shawn. He is everything that she thinks iMy thoughts Absolutely Loved it
Willa, now identified as one half of Shilla after marrying her match.com find, Shawn. He is everything that she thinks is perfect and as she always exclaims, they are both Switzerland! But sometimes even the Swiss loose their cool. Being together for about six years, the pair have an outline for how their lives should proceed: marry, work, save, then have a baby. All goals have been achieved except that last sticky issue. Shawn has been named as one of 40 under 40 for being a coding god and is fairly a nerd. Willa has always been "the last to know," according to family, so she doesn't realize that she is smart and beautiful.
Small things become obsessions with Willa when she finds a receipt in Shawn's wallet for a wine bar that to her, can only mean one thing. As he starts to pick up new hobbies that don't include her, she really thinks the worst. And then it does get worse, she loses her job, Shawn's 14 year old nephew, Nicky. arrives on their doorstep and she can't get pregnant. Her BFF, Vanessa, tries to help her out and proposes they write a book disproving her almost-Nobel-winner father's book about Manifest PreDestiny. With a celebrity yoga instructor brother and an overachieving sister, Willa was also supposed to have been a boy.
Just to make things even stickier for Willa, she hears from her old boyfriend on Facebook, who is another national business rock star that he wonders what might have been. All this just in time for Shawn to decide he needs "a break". Subplots abound and there is a lot of fun to be had in this quick read. The characters are all wonderfully complete and the story moves along. Nicky is just a smart mouthed kid who is really the star here with thoughtful lines that give real meaning to Willa's predicament. The conclusion is also nicely done and if you are looking for some great chick lit, this is your book. Also, Jen Lancaster just picked this as her book club read today, so you know I am right. ...more