Need took me on a fast-paced fantasy thrill ride through a small town in Maine where a blood hungry pixie king prowls for the blood and a queen to mat...more Need took me on a fast-paced fantasy thrill ride through a small town in Maine where a blood hungry pixie king prowls for the blood and a queen to mate. When her stepfather suddenly passes away and her mother becomes concerned for her daughter’s mental state of mind, Zara is sent to live with her grandmother in this frozen, remote place. This decision is the catalyst that places Zara as a target of the pixie king and her subsequent immersion in serious danger. It is easy to be won over by Zara. She is portrayed as a humorous, globally conscious teenager who has the quirky habit of collecting phobias like other people collect stamps or coins. The isolation of her grandmother’s home, which is located alongside an eerie dark wood, along with the frigid, constant blizzard-like weather added to the intensity and suspense of the novel for me. On one icy evening, Zara’s car spins out of control and she is helped by the handsome, brooding Nick, who has a few secrets of his own. The sizzle between Zara and Nick was palpable. The sparkle and pop of their budding romance was a great contrast to the quiet menace of the small town landscape. I hope to see more character development of Devyn and Issie in the next novel and eagerly am awaiting the sequel. (less)
Persuasion is in my own mind, Austen's greatest literary work. It was her final novel completed before her death and published posthumously. The passi...morePersuasion is in my own mind, Austen's greatest literary work. It was her final novel completed before her death and published posthumously. The passion between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth is palpable and the "letter" at end always makes my eyes well up with tears. Some scholars say Austen based the character of Anne on herself, and I believe it as she is at her most passionate in this novel. Like most of her novels, it deals with the social issues of the time, and though the ending is predictable, at times it doesn't seem so which makes for a suspenseful read.(less)
**spoiler alert** Anyone looking out their window on a dull, dreary day can feel the lure of the sun soaked coastline of an Italian castle blooming wi...more**spoiler alert** Anyone looking out their window on a dull, dreary day can feel the lure of the sun soaked coastline of an Italian castle blooming with wildflowers during the month of April. The four British women, varying in ages and situation are all drawn to San Salvatore, Italy and immediately begin to change. I loved how they all opened their hearts to love and friendship by recognizing the emptiness of their lives. It's not just the sun and rest though that brought about the changes...I believe it was true friendship with extraordinary people.(less)
Jessica Packwood was adopted in Romania when just an infant. As the novel begins, we find her living happily on her adoptive parent's farm in rural Pe...moreJessica Packwood was adopted in Romania when just an infant. As the novel begins, we find her living happily on her adoptive parent's farm in rural Pennsylvania. However, the wheels are in motion for major change to come her way. It all happens on the first day of school her senior year. As she steps out to the bus stop, she is unnerved by a creepy guy watching her--
He was standing under a massive beech tree across the road from me, his arms crossed over his chest. The tree’s low, gnarled branches twisted down around him, nearly concealing him in limbs and leaves and shadows. But it was obvious that he was tall and wearing a long, dark coat, almost like a cloak.
My chest clenched, and I swallowed hard. Who stands under a tree at the crack of dawn, in the middle of nowhere, wearing a black cloak? He must have realized I’d spotted him, because he shifted a little, like he was deciding whether to leave. Or maybe cross the road. Told partly through Jessica's narration and partly through Lucius’ letters home to his uncle Vasile, this novel took off right away and had me eagerly turning the pages to find out what would happen next. Lucius' letters were my favorite aspect of this novel. Chocked full of humorous recollections of his explosive encounters with Jessica, they always made for an amusing read. His sardonic wit and well rounded vocabulary brought his interactions with Jessica vividly to life. Time and time again, I found myself looking forward to seeing what he would write next!
Jessica was a great heroine whom I liked immediately from the start. Throughout the novel, she showed great spirit and confidence. I loved that she didn't get all starry eyed and swoony the moment she met Lucius too. I also want to mention Faith Crosse. It must be noted what a vivid character Faith was to contrast with against Jessica. She definitely personified all the old rivalries and insecurities of being a high school student for me and added a great source of tension to the book.
Jessica’s Guide was am extremely enjoyable novel. It was not only humorous, but also contained a much appreciated depth. The love story was at times even haunting to me, especially when all hope seemed to be lost. I voraciously devoured page after page of this novel and I only wish we could have another installment to look forward to!
This series is one of the best I have ever encountered. There are so many levels to the different issues, morals and politics that Scott Westerfeld de...moreThis series is one of the best I have ever encountered. There are so many levels to the different issues, morals and politics that Scott Westerfeld delves into in this highly imaginative perception of the future. Tally Youngblood on her hoverboard is an unorthodox heroine and I loved her sense of adventure. I loved how nothing was simple in this book--the good guys weren't so pure and the bad guys weren't all bad. The Rusties could be touted for their desire to live live on their own terms, but they were also depleting natural resources. The utopian "New pretty Town" was actually a very eco-conscious society that recycled and renewed everything. My favorite book was "Pretties" when Tally was faced with the challenge of being "Pretty" but trying to stay "bubbly". The action in these books makes you feel like you are right there along with Tally and Dr. Cable still lingers in my mind as a formidable presence.(less)
I absolutely loved these books. The sharp wit of the dijin Bartimaeus and his sardonic footnotes are enough alone to keep you eagerly turning pages an...moreI absolutely loved these books. The sharp wit of the dijin Bartimaeus and his sardonic footnotes are enough alone to keep you eagerly turning pages and running out to buy the follow up novels! This is the only book I've ever read where the reader is repeatedly insulted in the footnotes by the narrator as well. I loved the real heroine of the books Kitty and her fierce, independant spirit. Bartimaeus' tenuous relationship with Nathaniel was amusing to read but also had added depth as their relationship grew and evolved. Nathaniel's ultimate sacrifice in the end for Bartimaeus actually had me choked up for a moment. Bartimeus is my favorite dijiin - I would recommend these books to Harry Potter fans.(less)
This is a quick, enjoyable read. I curled up with it one rainy afteroon and before I knew it, I had finished it. I felt like the characters in the boo...moreThis is a quick, enjoyable read. I curled up with it one rainy afteroon and before I knew it, I had finished it. I felt like the characters in the book were my own family and I knew them. Like the beautiful cakes being made, this book was my comfort "food" --a warm diversion on a dull, depressing day. I love how the main character uses baking as her therapy and from that love, she develops a passion for a career that not only provides her with happiness, but income to help support her family. Who could ask for anything better! Doing something that you love and getting paid for it! And bonus--you can try your hand on some of the cake recipes in the back. My favorites were almond apricot pound cake and sweet potato bundt cake! Bon appetit!(less)