Pan’s Revenge picks up right where Neverland left off. Angel is back in her own time, and has no memory of her time spent in Neverland, outside of hau...morePan’s Revenge picks up right where Neverland left off. Angel is back in her own time, and has no memory of her time spent in Neverland, outside of haunting dream-like thoughts based around the necklace that one of her sisters brought home. Hook is stuck in Neverland trying desperately to figure out a way back to Angel.
What’s the Drama: Pan feels betrayed, not only does he figure out Angel inadvertently told Hook where his treasure is located, but Hook tricks him into breaking the Time-Stop curse on Neverland and is now seeking his revenge – and the best revenge he knows is to hit Hook where it will hurt the most; Angel.
What I Loved: The chemistry between Angel and Hook is still going strong. I was afraid of a love triangle scenario, but we were blessedly spared from that! (THANK YOU, Anna Katmore!) The entire time I was reading, all I could think is..please let them have a HEA!
The other thing I really enjoyed is the Fairy’s involvement in Hook and Pan’s life. It might have been deceitful in a way, but I liked that they were concerned about everyone getting what they needed/wanted.
Not so Much: It’s really hard to view Pan in the light that he is given in this book. I’m purposefully being vague, but die hard Pan-Fans may not like the book because of this. You really have to let the book stand on its own and let the ending bring you a glimmer of hope.
Can my Kids Read This: Yes. There is some language, and a bit of sensuality, but other than that, it’s a pretty safe read. And it’s loosely based off of a well loved story – so you know, they are going to WANT to read it!(less)
I have been nosing around this book for a few weeks. I'd look it up on Amazon.com, then move on, only to later come back to it. Yesterday morning I fi...moreI have been nosing around this book for a few weeks. I'd look it up on Amazon.com, then move on, only to later come back to it. Yesterday morning I finally bit the bullet and "One-Clicked" the book. The fact that the book was on sale for the $.99 in celebration of the release of book 2 didn't hurt any. I devoured the book. I feel like I just consumed each word and am going to hold each and every one of them within me forever. Peter Pan is one of my kid's favorite stories. We've been reading the Peter and the Starcatchers Series, by Dave Barry with my kids, thus my hesitancy to actually buy this book; I was kind of "Peter'd out." In truth, Peter, while a driving figure in the story, is present very little...
What's the Drama? Angelina "Angel" McFarland was having an absolutely typical weekend, babysitting her twin sisters - playing games, reading stories, giggling; all things that don't normally happen when Mom and Dad are around, but then trying to get to a sweater her sister accidently threw into the tree outside her balconey, Angel slips and falls...into a whole new world. Fighting against time and sleep, Angel wants desperately to return home to her sisters and home; all the while falling for the ruthless pirate, James Hook.
What I Loved: I love fairytale - retellings. Lately they are my vice, and while I'll drift away and read something new, I always come back to these retellings. But this story is wonderful, and complete; the book didn't really end with me having any questions, which I love! You know the character, who they are and why they are there before the book ends (a rare occurance in a series!) Better than all of that, the "bad guy" is actually the hero of this story, and I always love that twist. Jamie (Hook) starts off as the typical rutheless pirate, but his smirks and gleeming eyes make him just amusing and sexy enough even from the beginning, but as he starts letting his guard down and falling for Angel, he's even more appealing as "just Jamie." This story is just - it's just amazing, and even as Angel fights to get home, you can also understand the desire to allow herself to just forget and stay forever.
Not So Much: I don't have much I didn't like. I'm sitting here racking my brain....and I can only think of the ending, which is a big obvious "duh!" I mean, she has to leave - and leave Jamie.
But there is book 2. And lucky me, it came out yesterday!!(less)
Cassie Mae is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, if for no other reason than her books make me laugh, make my heart thump and the HEA’s just...moreCassie Mae is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, if for no other reason than her books make me laugh, make my heart thump and the HEA’s just make me sigh. In How to Seduce a Band Geek she tackles the social barriers again, this time with one of the schools rejects, and, though a “band geek,” one of those people who everyone loves to love.
What’s the Drama? So you’ve got Sierra who deals with bullying every single day; being called a tease and worse because she wrecked a car into a tree in order to get out of having sex with her then boyfriend. Then we’ve got Levi, the band geek who at one point would never been seen without his drumstick, but who is now known to be driving the streets at 4am on his moped and carrying around some strange black box. Both characters are very obviously into each other (even if it’s not so obvious to them) but both are carrying burdens that may get in the way of what they want.
What I Loved: Again the chemistry between Sierra and Levi is dead on. Oh man the movie theater scene…. I also felt, where How to Date a Nerd lacked a bit of an example of ‘what to do when’ scenario, this one at least did follow through – cops were called in a scene. So yay for (sort of) doing the right thing. And Levi’s sensitivity, he’s really going through a rough time, and in a few scenes he sort of has a break down, but his vulnerability really made me like him so much more.
Not so Much: How can I love and not love the same thing? Well, as I said, the scene where the cops were called was at least a better example; however it wasn’t the best. Maybe it’s realistic that teenagers don’t tell their parents everything, and they naturally try and protect their friends; but clearly in this scenario Sierra knew what happened to her at an Ambien Party was wrong…so very, very wrong. So why did she never talk to the police herself? Why did she shut her mom down when she offered to talk. Again, I know we are going for “what would really happen” rather than “what would happen” in books to make them more realistic, but wouldn’t it be good to give teenagers an example of what could happen if they did the right thing? You prevent someone else from getting nearly raped, you stand up for what you know is wrong. It’s not always a bad thing. If you’re going to have these big, huge situations written in a book, I kind of feel like maybe they should be a big, huge situation. Either there are good/decent consequences, ie; other girls come out of the woodwork who felt the same, there are bonds form, the offender gets in trouble; or consequences in the reverse; ie: the attempted rape happens again, someone gets seriously hurt/effected as a result of the party, etc.
I’m not saying that this whole topic needs to take on a force of its own, but it seems like it should have a bit more meat if it’s going to be present at all.
Can my Kids Read This? Yes. Once again, it is appropriate for High School teenagers. The book, again, contains cussing, talk of sex, one drug party scene. But I have to say this, all talk of sex was mostly about being not ready and how to deal with peer pressure. And the drug party scene, Sierra had no idea what was happening until it was too late. There was no glorifying of this type of atmosphere/behavior at all.(less)
So I really, really enjoyed this book! It felt kind of funny reading it as an ebook on my iPad, but still. While the elaborate story maybe not so much...moreSo I really, really enjoyed this book! It felt kind of funny reading it as an ebook on my iPad, but still. While the elaborate story maybe not so much, I can see society slipping further and further into this kind of app reliance mentality. It doesn't seem too far out there.
I will say that not a single word of this book was wasted. Free to Fall was dripping in foreshadowing, every single moment had a purpose and was used...which kind of made the book seem like one big huge coincidence, or just too convenient. That, however does not really take too much away from the fun and adventure this book takes you on. It is a book, afterall.
I did feel like Rory was a bit quick to trust people and fell into a kind of love simply. A teacher who seemed to be an enemy turned trusted friend - it was just to quick! And I felt like despite what the history of the book sort of gives you, this all loving and understanding father who raised her is sort of just dismissed easily in the book. He's only there when it seems good to check in with him. So the relationships of the book were sort of out there to me...except for the relationship between Rory and North. I loved their relationship, buuuuut once again I have to point out how easy and convenient their relationship turned out to be. In the end the book had a very "meant to be"/"Destiny" type feel - like all of these pieces of a puzzle just happenstancely fell out of the sky and put together in order.
But like I said before - it's a book. It's meant to entertain, and entertained I was!(less)
Review: Shackled Lily is a beautiful story of redemption. Kaitlyn (Issy) is an out of control young adult who has grown up splitting her time with a m...more Review: Shackled Lily is a beautiful story of redemption. Kaitlyn (Issy) is an out of control young adult who has grown up splitting her time with a mother haunted by heartache and depression, and a controlling father, his new wife and their son. The other family that she loaths and resents. Issy is on a true road of self destruction filling her life up with alcohol, dancing and guys. She's a master of manipulation, and wearing masks so well that hardly anyone knows who is really underneath.
This is the first book that I've read by T. L. Grey, although not the first book in The Winsor Series. I admire T. L.'s boldness and finess in writing a book that so obviously fulfills the recently developed "New Adult" genre, a genre that I find a bit risky to begin with, but to tackle it and throw in God's principles of love and forgiveness; such a tall order, and so well done! She has written realistic characters (although a bit more extreme than anyone I've ever crossed) and real life issues; partying, alcoholism, and even some drug abuse, and makes the love of Christ available even to these who some would look down upon, what could be more real than that?
The book itself was captivating. At first, I thought Issy was going to turn out to be more devastated by her mother's attempted suicide, and was a broken, selfish rich kid learning to trust and love those around her. I was pretty wrong. It took a while to get past her drinking and partying to see that she truly was trying to numb and fight against the ruling hand of her father. The matters of her heart, and her inability to love stemming from her inability to trust or believe that people weren't there just to use her. A fact that she proved with every conquest, and in her own using of people anyway. Her story was a very rocky road, and she went down it kicking and screaming the entire way.
What I Loved: The redemption of Issy's life, as well as Grant's unwaivering love. He stood by her and was a rock that she could stand on (or run away from) until she found her way. When they were able to come together and love each other freely - it was that satisfying "ah" moment at the end of a good novel. I also loved that in this book - even those who knew Christ made mistakes. It was a great picture of God's grace, and how we are always a work in progress.
Not So Much: Everybody was in love with this girl, and quite honestly - outside of being extremely charasmatic and intelligent; she herself was a bit "trashy" (to use her own words). She was obvious at throwing herself at guys, and pretty honest and up front about using them. Regardless, everytime she turned around it seemed like one of them was in love with her. (less)
I love that Cassie Mae is tackling these side-groups in High School, the ones people tend to avoid or try and disassociate themselves from. I’ve read...moreI love that Cassie Mae is tackling these side-groups in High School, the ones people tend to avoid or try and disassociate themselves from. I’ve read so many young adult novels, and rarely do I see books written about them; I had even thought about writing one myself (even though I’m not an author – and even though I’ve got stuff rattling around up in my head, I never seem to really have much time to sit and try and get it out on paper). So How To Date a Nerd is more about Zoe, and her issues with being a “closet geek” than it is about “how” to actually date a nerd. Zoe loves all things nerd; Star Trek, D & D, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings; you name it, she probably knows all about it. However, in an attempt to stop being picked on, Zoe puts herself through a major transformation, sort of a la “Princess Diaries” style; showing up for High School completely reformed, totally hot, and absolutely NOT a geek.
What’s the Drama? It’s been two years since her transformation, and Zoe is not happy! And she has this absolutely, completely die-hard crush on her equally geeky next door neighbor Zak. However, she can’t seem to sacrifice her spot on the top rung of the ladder to go after what she wants.
What I Loved: Oh man, the dynamic between Zoe and Zak. The innocence of shaky hands, and blushes. I loved it! And I’m pretty big into comic books/fantasy books/etc – so the references were really fun!
Not so Much: MAN, Zoe is a jerk. She is constantly beating herself up and then being the meanest person on the planet. I understand her dilemma, really I do…but sheehs. And then there was the attempted rape scene. I would like to have seen that whole situation handled differently as an “example” for girls who have actually gone through something like this can look at and maybe follow….because ignoring it is NOT the right way to handle a situation like that, even if you escape…barely.
Can my kids read this? Your mature High School kids, not your Middle Schoolers. What you need to know is, they talk about sex, there is some alcohol, there is cussing. There is no actual sex in the book, however there was that attempted date rape sort of scenario. The book isn’t real “heavy” at all though, very light, at times funny, and quite short. Makes for a great lazy Saturday quick read (which is exactly what I did).(less)
I love a book that will engage you and wrap you in, as oppose to feeling like someone is telling a story. One thing I know for sure, Ava Zavora knows...moreI love a book that will engage you and wrap you in, as oppose to feeling like someone is telling a story. One thing I know for sure, Ava Zavora knows how to write a story that will keep you captive until the very end. She is also a master of writing stories of romance and love without graphic or over the top scenes.
Dear Adam makes you a fly on the (virtual) wall of a budding relationship that starts out on Twitter, and quickly moves through email, messenger, and even Skype. You learn about Adam and Eden and their lives through these communications, both are very well rounded characters that easily become real people. Even with Adam's private nature, you can relate to him and his emotions, as well as Eden's. There are a few short interludes where you might get Eden’s thoughts, or a little on the side dialogue with her friends or family, but I’d say 90% of this book is cut down to the choppiness of an email or messenger conversation. To me this would seem like a very difficult challenge to have taken on, because while interaction between characters is what makes or breaks a book in my opinion, emotions and reactions from the same characters are also quite important - and this could be a difficult undertaking with this scenario. While the emotions are definitely present within Dear Adam, sometimes it’s more than a few words typed out to create a sentence, and sometimes the emotions are written “between the lines” of the messages that Adam and Eden are communicating with one another, so you have to look for it. Establishing this online relationship and making it real was something Ava Zavora accomplished quite well. I was hard pressed to put down the book once I started it, because finding out what witty remark Eden may come up with, or how bold and forward Adam might be in his next email was too intoxicating. I could just imagine both characters sitting around the house just waiting on the “bing” of a new email or messenger, and the smiles on their faces as they read the other’s reaction or react themselves to the latest communication.
There were times when I felt a little left out of the other aspects of Eden’s (since this really is her story) life. I wanted more information about how her son was reacting to her strange fascination to a man she’d never actually met, and I wanted to know more about what was happening at work or with her friends. Things like that. I did kind of miss the filler that is present in normal books at times, however in the end you truly don’t feel like much was missing from the book.(less)
I have read quite a few Indie (or Self-published) books in the last few weeks. I want to support these artists, because there are some truly talented...moreI have read quite a few Indie (or Self-published) books in the last few weeks. I want to support these artists, because there are some truly talented people out there, however my experience is that most of these authors could really use some practice…or lots of practice…or not quit their day job. But then there’s Rosethorn. Rosethorn is WHY I read Indie books. I have found the diamond in the rough, and I am pleased to be able to introduce you to this book.
As you can imagine from my introduction, I was a bit reluctant to start reading Rosethorn. I had said I would review it, so I was going to – but I was anxious about having committed myself to possibly having to be polite about a book that wasn’t great. (I don’t like ripping people’s artwork to shreds, you know…that’s not my style.) So when I finally opened the book – within the first paragraph I knew, I just knew this was going to be good. Ava Zavora’s writing is almost like poetry. She takes every paragraph, every scene seriously as she draws you a picture and plops you right down in the middle of it. But it’s not too much! It’s not overly flowery or so many words that you can’t see the story for the description. I immediately was sucked in to Seraphina’s life and could hardly put down the book wanting more. Her story was perfectly seamless, even when she jumped between past and present and even between characters a bit.
Rosethorn, in the end, ends up being two and a half stories twined into one beautiful piece of art – they all relate and are relevant in the dynamic. I will say, if you are an action junkie – and are waiting for the suspense of danger or some shocking drama…this isn’t your book. This book is about all-encompassing passion, and long-lasting love, and betrayal and a bit of forgiveness. It’s about selfishness, and selflessness, and a touch of innocence. The dynamic of the characters is vast, and you’ll love some of them and not like (maybe even hate) others.
While this book would likely fall into the “New Adult” category, despite the “all-encompassing passion” I spoke of, this book is not stuffed full of sex scenes. It is actually rather clean when it comes to the act itself. It’s the emotions she writes about, and let me tell you, it’s beautiful. Honestly, when I want a little romance in my reading diet, this is what I’m looking for. I want to fall in love for the first time all over again, and that is the exact experience that I got. I am very happy I took a chance on Rosethorn. I look forward to reading more from Ava Zavora, because I can just tell she has more great stories to share!(less)
I was so, so, so very excited to be granted access to read the ARC of Lady Thief. I read Scarlet in 2012, and have been awaiting the rest of the seri...more I was so, so, so very excited to be granted access to read the ARC of Lady Thief. I read Scarlet in 2012, and have been awaiting the rest of the series since then. I love the story of Robin Hood, and am not surprised to love the re-telling of the story as well.
Scarlet left off after Scarlet saves Robin by marrying Lord Gisbourne, despite having come to realize that Robin loves her, and she him. The drama that unfolds gave me flash back between Robin Hood movies I've watched and other books (mostly of a dystopian nature) I've read recently. Scarlet (Lady Marian) is a wonderful heroine, and maintains difficult yet loving disposition that was established in Scarlet. This book is full of adventure, and revelation, and romance. Oh the romance between Scarlet and Robin is wonderful, and exactly what you want to see from a classic Robin and Maid Marian.
The ending of this book is shocking, and in no way will give you flashbacks of of Disney foxes we grew up on. And what would a good middle book be without one big whopper of a cliffhanger, eh? It is totally worth it though. The story of Robin and Scarlet has started to take on a shape of its own and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book already.
This book is suitable for young adults; high school age and above. I would have no hesitancy in letting my 9th grader (if I had a 9th grader) read this book. Well, there is violence, but only of the nature you would expect from a Robin Hood story.(less)