This is the 12th and final book in the House of Night series, but can be read as a stand-alone. I'm terribly behind on this series and have only readThis is the 12th and final book in the House of Night series, but can be read as a stand-alone. I'm terribly behind on this series and have only read the first book, but never felt lost or confused while reading.
With multiple narrators, we get several points of view during the battle between Light and Darkness. I appreciated that each time the narrator changed, their name was listed as a chapter heading so you never felt lost.
While Zoey is definitely the heroine of this story, I found myself drawn to Neferet and enjoyed her parts of the story the most. Crazy villains are usually the most interesting characters, don't you think? Especially crazy vampires who think they are a goddess!
While reading the entire series may have filled in some background for me, I enjoyed getting to know Zoey and her friends and watching them interact with each other while battling Neferet. Even the humans outside her circle were interesting, such as Detective Marx and Lynette (one of Neferet's hostages).
Overall I enjoyed this story and was pleased with the ending. PC Cast has written some of my favorite series and I'm sorry I waited so long to read this one. Looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next!...more
Until the TV show Once Upon A Time, the Disney movie was my only exposure to Snow White's story and, to be honest, I was not a fan. I'm not sure if itUntil the TV show Once Upon A Time, the Disney movie was my only exposure to Snow White's story and, to be honest, I was not a fan. I'm not sure if it was her voice or how she was drawn, but Disney's Snow White really annoyed me for some reason. But I love the TV version of Snow, and was intrigued by this books premise of what happens once your Happily Ever After is over.
Poor Snow White is still grieving Prince Charming's death over a year later. Even though her daughter's impending marriage should be a happy time, she is deeply depressed and can't seem to begin healing. Looking for a quiet spot in the bustling castle, she finds herself in her evil stepmother's old apartment and stumbles upon the Magic Mirror.
Half convinced the mirror is an evil demon, it insists that it is just a mirror and only shows a person's reflection. It's not the mirror's fault if the person isn't happy with what they see, but is Snow White brave enough to examine her reflected life closely? The mirror then takes her on a journey of reflection, reminding her of all she's survived.
This story shows a much darker version of Snow White's life than the Disney fairy tale. Her stepmother wasn't just cruel, but incredibly abusive. That Snow survived the mental, emotional, and physical abuse is amazing! And the mirror has even more to show her, as Life With Stepmonster isn't Snow's only memory to reflect upon.
I'm a little torn about my reaction to this story. On the one hand, I really like the idea of a magic mirror helping you reflect upon your life by reliving memories, both good and bad. But on the other hand, I'm still not a fan of Snow White and this version didn't help change my mind. She seemed a little too self-pitying for my tastes and my impression was that she relied on men to save her instead of saving herself. That's a major pet peeve of mine! I also didn't like how she treated the mirror afterwards.
All in all, I did enjoy the story. I thought it was an original premise and I liked the tweaks the author made to the fairy tale. Snow White still isn't my type of fairy tale princess, but this story is worth reading for all the unique touches.
Would love to hear from anyone else who's read this one! Am I taking Snow's weepiness the wrong way? And am I the only one bugged by the mirror's ultimate fate? I know it's just a mirror, but it's a magic mirror and deserved better! Plus, I want one.......more
Emery is a smart girl with a great sense of humor who knows that she's never going to be a size 2 like her mother and sister, but she's okay with thatEmery is a smart girl with a great sense of humor who knows that she's never going to be a size 2 like her mother and sister, but she's okay with that. More or less. While initially reluctant to take part in a reality show to lose weight, she eventually agrees in order to save her family home from foreclosure.
While I really liked and admired Emery, the whole premise of the reality show bothered me. Losing 50 pounds in 50 days isn't healthy in any way, shape, or form. And Emery is put under so much pressure that she turns to the dark side of weight-loss and develops some unhealthy habits.
Another thing that bothered me was the way Emery's weight was discussed. The various descriptions of Emery had me thinking that she was in the 250-300 pound weight range, but then we find out that she's 5'6" and 199 pounds. While technically obese, that's nowhere near the whale-like proportions mentioned throughout the book.
Emery is a great character and this book could have been so much more, but I had a hard time getting past the misrepresentations of her weight. No one with Emery's stats would have to rest her arms on rolls of fat or have overhanging belly fat obscuring her bikini bottoms! I mean, c'mon!
The author has worked in the entertainment business for awhile, including a stint as an E! News Correspondent, so I think that might be why he has such a skewed view of overweight women. I dropped my rating to a 3/5 because the weight issue bothered me so much, but the book was well written and Emery is a fantastic character!...more
Having read and enjoyed Ahern's books in the past, I was more than a little disappointed by this one. While the mystery of the 100 names is intriguingHaving read and enjoyed Ahern's books in the past, I was more than a little disappointed by this one. While the mystery of the 100 names is intriguing, I'm sad to say that Kitty is not.
The scandal that's destroying Kitty's career is a situation that no professional journalist should ever allow to happen. Aren't they supposed to research, fact-check, and verify all of their information? And what about her editors and producers and all the other support staff? The scandal didn't ring true for me and got in the way of my enjoyment of the story.
I also found Kitty hard to sympathize with, especially when she feels more sorry for herself than the others involved. She just struck me as incredibly self-centered, and ultimately unlikable. But the 100 names mystery? That kept my interest.
Kitty gets lucky and finds a clue to the names in Constance's cluttered home. Tracking down some of the names, we get to know them and their stories, but not why Constance had them on a list.
Working against a tight deadline, Kitty thinks she's finally figured out the mystery of the list and presents it to her boss. The ending was tied up a little too nice and neat for my tastes, but did have a certain charm.
Not one of my favorites by Ahern, but the mystery and the secondary characters made this a nice read. Ahern is a clever, talented writer and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!...more
From the synopsis, I assumed that the story would focus on the relationship between Muriel and Pia, the two sisters. Well, there are two sisters in thFrom the synopsis, I assumed that the story would focus on the relationship between Muriel and Pia, the two sisters. Well, there are two sisters in the story, but I'm still puzzled over what the focus of this book was supposed to be as it wasn't about their relationship. It was a bit all over the place, as though the author couldn't make up her mind about what type of story she wanted to tell.
We start off with two narrators alternating chapters, but that soon peters out. Every now and again a different narrator would pop up, but the main voice is Muriel's. There are occasional flashbacks that I didn't realize were flashbacks until later, which made things a little confusing. Maybe making the storyline messy, the way that life is messy, was the author's intention? I'm still not sure.
Unfortunately, I didn't find any of the characters very likable. Muriel seems to have no purpose or direction to her life, but I kept forgetting that she was in her early twenties because she acted so much older. I got the impression that she blamed her family for her lackluster life, which is one of my pet peeves. I don't care what your upbringing was like, but once you're an adult it's up to you to turn your life around and take charge!
Mother Lidia is an unlikable, self-centered woman, married to Owen, an aloof, distant man. Sister Pia is an unrelatable golden girl who seems to have always had it all. We don't really get to know brother Logan, as he left home when Muriel was still a child.
Despite not liking any of the characters and what I found to be a chaotic storyline, I still kept reading as I wanted to see what would happen next. I found myself wishing that a strong editor had tightened things up, but the story still seemed to work. I'm curious to see what other readers thought of this one!...more
Humor is very subjective and, unfortunately, my sense of humor is different than the authors. I was hoping for an amusing look at aging from a woman'sHumor is very subjective and, unfortunately, my sense of humor is different than the authors. I was hoping for an amusing look at aging from a woman's perspective, something along the lines of Nora Ephron maybe, but was sadly disappointed.
While I could sometimes relate to the issues covered, none of them really tickled my funnybone. I don't expect to laugh out loud at books like this, but I do expect to chuckle knowingly, nod wisely, or grin to myself every now and again. Unfortunately, I was not amused.
Not all of the stories are supposed to be amusing, which I found strange in a book marketed as "wickedly funny," but these serious tales turned out to be my favorites. The story of an old friend dying of cancer was incredibly touching.
As I said, humor is subjective. This one wasn't for me, but others might enjoy it....more
This is one of those books that I wasn't sure I'd like, but wound up loving! I don't think I've ever read a book set in China before, so this was a toThis is one of those books that I wasn't sure I'd like, but wound up loving! I don't think I've ever read a book set in China before, so this was a totally new experience for me. Add in the 1930's setting, which I usually don't care for, and this one is totally outside my usual comfort zone! But the author made it an easy read and I was never confused about what was happening because she explained everything seamlessly, without getting in the way of the story. Very impressive!
We first meet Leiyin on the day of her funeral. Unsure of why she hasn't yet ascended to the afterlife, her three souls explain that she was responsible for a great wrong during her life. In order to journey to the afterlife, she needs to remember what happened and then make things right.
We journey with Leiyin down memory lane, and the journey isn't always pleasant as she was a bit of a sheltered, spoiled little rich girl. Thinking only of herself, she suffers the consequences of her actions. Was her "punishment" a little harsh? I think so, but she certainly could have handled things better and taken the opportunity to pull up her big girl panties and grow up!
While Leiyin isn't the nicest person, I could relate to her situation and she had my sympathy. I enjoyed getting to know several of the other characters as well, especially her sisters and stepmother.
This story is beautifully written, and I'm astounded that it's the author's first book! She's incredibly talented, and I'm doubly impressed that she hooked me so thoroughly with something so far outside of my usual genres! Interesting characters, a smooth flowing plot, and an introduction to a foreign land to boot. Definitely a must read!...more
Lori Foster is one of those authors that I find myself turning to whenever I need a good read with a touch of romance. She doesn't do rainbows and uniLori Foster is one of those authors that I find myself turning to whenever I need a good read with a touch of romance. She doesn't do rainbows and unicorns, which I really appreciate! Her characters are admirable yet still believable, and I can always count on her to get me out of a reading rut. This book is no exception!
Dash is Logan's brother (from book #1 of this series, Run The Risk), and he is more than a little interested in Margo Peterson. Complicating things a bit is that Margo is also Logan's boss, but that doesn't slow Dash down.
While Lieutenant Margo can certainly take care of herself, Dash is determined to be her back-up, whether she wants his help or not. Good thing too, because she's hurt while trying to smoke out a group kidnapping and raping women for black market porn. If Dash wasn't there to help, who knows what might have happened to Margo!
We also learn more about her efforts to root out corruption in her precinct, and get to meet her dysfunctional family. A classic case of a daughter not being able to live up to her father's ideals and always feeling like a disappointment. Then there's a small subplot concerning Margo's sexual preferences, which she thought was a big deal but I found a little anti-climatic (no pun intended). Lots going on in this one, but it never seems rushed or contrived.
Really enjoying this series, and especially like that one of the running themes is the fight against female trafficking. It's an important topic, but Lori doesn't dumb it down in any way, shape, or form. Full of strong, interesting women and men who treat them as such, this is a great series if you like romances! ...more
Book #4 picks up soon after #3, with Jenny trying to track down an evil witch in Houston. She not only finds trouble, but jumps in with both feet! TheBook #4 picks up soon after #3, with Jenny trying to track down an evil witch in Houston. She not only finds trouble, but jumps in with both feet! The girl really should learn to look before she leaps. On the plus side, she meets a hot, new guy. On the negative side, she might not survive the experience!
Really like Jenny, as she's not your typical heroine. She's not really sure what she's doing, she makes mistakes, and she gets hurt. I've always gotten annoyed with heroines who learn that they have powers one day and are uber-ninjas the next! I mean, really?
Also really like that she's a tall, skinny girl with a purple faux-hawk and a tattoo. Not your typical main character. And her BFF Marshal is proudly gay, another unusual character that we don't see enough of in urban fantasy. Love these two!
This is a fun series if you're looking for original characters and an interesting storyline. I recommend reading them in order, but they're all quick reads so it shouldn't take long to catch up....more
When Marshal's father disappears in book 3, Jenny fears the worst. She's afraid that there might be a monster on the loose and that her BFF's father mWhen Marshal's father disappears in book 3, Jenny fears the worst. She's afraid that there might be a monster on the loose and that her BFF's father may be one of its victims. When a despised bully heads out with a posse to track down the "animal" after the official search party is called off, Jenny tags along to try to rescue dad. Things don't end well......more
We first meet Boy at home, where he lives with his parents in a NYC theater. Working in a production called "The Show" with other legendary non-humansWe first meet Boy at home, where he lives with his parents in a NYC theater. Working in a production called "The Show" with other legendary non-humans, this is the only life Boy has ever known. But Boy is restless and wants more out of life. Told of his parent's plan to ship him off to Geneva to attend college and live with the Frankenstein family, Boy is appalled and runs away.
At first, life is hard for someone with no ID and his "unusual" looks, but he finally finds a job and things start to look up. Things look up even more when the girl of his dreams runs away from The Show to join him! Then his luck turns when one of the computer programs he created goes viral (in a very bad way) and he has to go on the run again.
After a couple of old friends from The Show catch up with them, one of them takes girlfriend home while the other decides to show Boy that life on the road can be fun. Introducing him to the granddaughter of Jekyll and Hyde, the two (three?) of them set off on the adventure of a lifetime!
Really enjoyed this story, and got a kick out of Frankenstein and his Bride making a son of their own! The Show made sense too, as legendary monsters do need a safe place in today's world. The discovery that there was more than one safe haven made sense too, and I liked how they differed.
Boy was a unique character and he really grew on me. A cross between a typical teenage boy obsessed with computers and the ultimate outsider, I really liked getting to know him and watching as he dealt with various challenges during his adventure. And I really liked the granddaughter(s), Claire and Sophie. For two people sharing the same body, they're both totally unique characters!
Skovron is a very talented author, who created a clever storyline that was well-paced, had interesting characters, and left me wanting more. Would love to see a sequel down the road so we can find out what happens next for Boy, his family & friends, and especially The Show!...more
Elara is an orphan, raised by a family who doesn't love her and treats her like a slave. Princess Wilha has been raised as royalty, but also feels unlElara is an orphan, raised by a family who doesn't love her and treats her like a slave. Princess Wilha has been raised as royalty, but also feels unloved and doesn't understand why she is required to wear a mask at all times. These two girls are our narrators, and both are fascinating characters.
Just like Cinderella, Elara gets a chance to go to a royal ball! The ball is in celebration of Wilha's birthday, but she's not very happy at being put on display yet again. It's tough being stared at all of the time because of her mask, and the rumors about why she has to wear it can be hurtful to a sheltered princess.
Brought together after an assassination attempt on the royal family, both girls find out startling information about their pasts. Sent together to a neighboring kingdom, Wilha and Elera both discover hidden strengths.
Of the two, I found myself relating to Wilha more so than Elera, as Elera seemed somewhat harder and less sympathetic. Of course, Elera had a much tougher childhood than the princess, but I just didn't connect with her like I thought I would. And I was surprised by how much I came to like Wilha, as I found her weak and uninteresting at first. She really grew on me!
Found this to be a good start to a new series, with interesting characters and a good storyline. While I found a few plot points a little odd, everything came together well and I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes the story next!...more