My Review: His Haunted Heart sort of threw me for a loop, this is not Lila Felix’s normal style. Honestly, I thought she was going to throw a twist inMy Review: His Haunted Heart sort of threw me for a loop, this is not Lila Felix’s normal style. Honestly, I thought she was going to throw a twist in the story about halfway through, and it was going to be a little bit more “The Village” than historical. (Though I’m pretty sure she makes it pretty clear in the beginning its historical, I just choose to set aside that detail). I like to try and find foreshadowing while I’m reading – so I tend to look for things that aren’t quite there.
While I had some reservations about some of actual story-line, this book really did suck me in. I enjoyed reading it because it’s been so long since I’ve been swept away from my world and felt like I left the cares of life behind to get lost in the book’s world – because it’s so different. Lila’s writing actually felt ‘haunted’ in this book – making this time of year (the time between summer and autumn) seem almost the perfect season in which to read it. (That might be silly and fantastical, but it was true for me!)
What I Loved: There was just something about the melancholy setting of this book that drew me in from the very beginning. I was immediately rooting for Delilah, which is normal – you’re usually suppose to like the main character, but her life from the start just made me want her to have much better things. Truly all of the sub-characters were perfectly written, as well as being melancholy, I felt like the story had an air of 'fairytale' as well, so the 'good' characters were great, upstanding people while the 'bad' characters were obviously bad.
I really enjoyed the chemistry between Delilah and Porter, their love and affection was pretty evident from the beginning. While there were some ups and downs, mostly on Delilah’s end – I kind of enjoyed that there was no major dividing line between them as a couple in the story. There wasn’t a huge falling out or major break in the relationship. They actually talked things out and there were even legitimate apologies for the way they behaved. I did like this for the simple fact that it breaks the norm when it comes to relationships in novels. It's also worth noting that I am sooo thankful that this wasn't a love triangle. I had about a three second time-span in which I thought it was going to be - but Lila quickly nipped that one!
Not so Much: First of all, I felt like the ending was quite abrupt. It was like there is all this stuff, and then – done. So that was a little unsatisfying. It wasn’t in a cliff-hanger sort of way, but just a ‘…huh, that’s it...’ kind of scenario. I also felt like either we didn’t get enough correlation to things that seemed important in the story, and their purpose. There was a necklace, there was a lake, there was a witch-type person, there were ghosts and hidden backstories. There are the obvious facts which are laid out in the book, but throughout the story it felt like certain parts and scenes had much more significance, then when the “real story” or the mystery sort of unfolded I couldn’t decide if we were deceived and they weren’t really as significant as they seemed, or if I was just needing more detail – HOW was this used, what was the mechanics behind it. (My vagueness is purposeful to avoid spoilers).
Rated: PG - Sensuality, no cussing, no sex Rating: 3 Stars - I enjoyed this book!...more
My Review: When I left for my cruise I had loaded up both my iPad and iPhone (by loaded up, I mean predownloaded) with many book options for reading wMy Review: When I left for my cruise I had loaded up both my iPad and iPhone (by loaded up, I mean predownloaded) with many book options for reading while on vacation. When I got on the ship, however, I was more concerned about squinting and trying to see the screens - and kids who liked to splash a lot ruining my electronics. (This didn't stop many people though, as I saw quite a few Kindles throughout the week). The great thing is, Carnival has us covered, and provides a nicely stocked library on board the ship. On it I found Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This seemed as good of a choice as any because while I have seen Rainbow's books come up over and over again, I hadn't actually read one. And it seemed like a fun vacation read...plus I love nerdy/fangirlly books.
Reading on a cruise ship is both perfect, and difficult. I loved relaxing in the sun or on the front or back deck with the book and a cup of coffee and just zoning out. However, there is so much to do on a cruise, and I was there with not only my husband, but my best friend and her husband (Hi Michelle!) which meant that I couldn't be "zoned out" for too long, people were bound to miss me. That being said, I didn't finish the book. I came really, really close - but not quite. So when I got home I forked out the $4.99 to buy the e-book so I could finish FIVE CHAPTERS! Money well worth it, because who in their right mind can just sit for long when you've only got 5 chapters of a book to read?!
What I Loved: Characters always make the book for me. And I loved Cather and Wren (and the origins of their name! :) ) They were so different, but still had that gravitational pull that you always hear about twins having. Levi was excellent as well, I loved who he was for Cath - how patient and kind and exactly perfectly what she needed. I already mentioned that I loved the fangirl stuff - It made me nostalgic for when I was all about Twilight, and everything Twilight related. I wasn't like Cather or Wren - I didn't read FanFic, but that was mostly because I liked the "canon" and didn't want anything or anyone changing the characters or story-line for me. However, I can understand the other perspective too...not wanting the world to end.
I found Rainbow Rowell's writing quite entertaining, her characters were witty and fun, and if I'm being quite honest, I was probably half through the book before I realized that it was written in third person and not first - that is how strong Cather's voice is!
Not So Much: Okay all you 'fangirls' don't skin me alive on this one, but I didn't really feel like there was much of a climax/resolution in this book. It all sort of was just a flat story that was entertaining to read. I can't tell you that Cather was a stronger or better person at the end. She was always capable, and usually did make the right decisions (eventually), regardless of any insecurities she had. I can't say that Wren even was a better person at the end - although all things indicate that she was. I feel like their father might have made progress - but nothing definite. Their mother, well let's just say I side with Cath on that issue, and I don't know if I could say that part of the book went anywhere either. I guess it could be said that Cath and Wren grew as much as any young adult does at this point of life. I'm just used to a more pronounced story arc, I suppose.
Amy Harmon makes it difficult to write a normal review, because I’m afraid if I share any littlest detail from the book I’m bound to give something awAmy Harmon makes it difficult to write a normal review, because I’m afraid if I share any littlest detail from the book I’m bound to give something away. The teasers that were put out for the book were intimate scenes, and yet were probably the safest words to put out to the world in order to entice without giving things away. I had this same trouble with Law of Moses, and I wasn’t 100 percent happy with my review because I still felt like I was leaking information from seams I’d prefer to keep shut so that the reader can find out the information themselves. I’m just like that – I hate spoilers, and I hate to spoil, too.
I will say that Song of David is another emotional roller coaster brought to you by Ms Amy Harmon; this seems to be her forte. While the overall feel of the book was bittersweet, woven in the details of Tag and Millie’s story is joy, love, laughter, fun, happiness, frustration, confusion, and anger fueled by love. Every single emotion is out there for you to latch on to and experience yourself within the pages of this book as you fall into this dance with Tag and Millie.
What I Loved: David (Tag) and Amelie (Millie). I loved their story front, center and end. I loved Millie’s brother, Henry, and his way of communication – sometimes he was the most profound character in the chapter. I loved still “seeing” Moses and Georgia and their baby! I love how Amy chose to tell this story (yet another secret that you must find out on your own). I loved that Tag is both the nice guy, and the bad guy; and yet he’s the perfect guy!
Not So Much: I’m not big on ambiguous – I’ll say that and leave it alone.
Rated: PG-13 - some cussing, and this book has sensuality, and a black out scene. Rating: 5 Stars – Stellar writing, Awesome story....more
Honestly - I did really like this book, however I felt like the story dragged on for quite a long time. It would have been much better in my opinion iHonestly - I did really like this book, however I felt like the story dragged on for quite a long time. It would have been much better in my opinion if the book either 1 didn't cover so much time, or 2, some stuff was cut down some; thus the 3 star rating....more
As friend of the author I have watched The Kiss blossom from the seed of an idea into this beautiful love story of family ties, past hurts, prejudicesAs friend of the author I have watched The Kiss blossom from the seed of an idea into this beautiful love story of family ties, past hurts, prejudices, loyalty and true love. I have seen this book morph from a very rough outline into what it is today. In some ways I feel like this may disqualify me from being able to write a trustworthy review in the eyes of some people, but I do know a good book when I read one. While talking to my husband one day over the last year I said, “Michelle is writing a book…and it is REALLY good,” Justin just raised eyebrows in surprise, because he knows how honest I can be when it comes to reading and books. My opinion has been solid from the very beginning, and not because I’m her friend and I love her dearly, but because The Kiss captured my attention from the start and begged me to read it. (Unfortunately, most of the time Michelle just wasn't writing fast enough).
Michelle’s writing style is beautifully descriptive; she can take you into a scene and make you feel as if you were a bystander watching these characters fall for each other; she can take you into the heat of the moment and cause your heart to race, and best of all – she writes moments that will make you laugh out loud. These things are amazing qualities to find in a book – and to find them within the pages of a “first” book is even more unique and exciting. The Kiss is a great foundation for this series. Michelle feeds you all the nitty gritty and background information bit-by-bit throughout the story instead of in some introductory paragraph. You will experience twist and turns that will surprise you, all laced with a set of characters you either love, or love to hate.
I will say that while I love Leis and Koen; I am so very excited for the next book to come out. Read The Kiss– get to know the world, fall in love with Leis and Koen and their friends, and then hang on because I truly believe that the best is still yet to come!...more
My Review: The Trail of the Raven: Haiti is the first of a series of books about Jack, who is following in the footsteps of his adopted mother in the dMy Review: The Trail of the Raven: Haiti is the first of a series of books about Jack, who is following in the footsteps of his adopted mother in the discovery of their ancestors through travel and discovery. Chip Davis has combined non-fictional stories with a fictional cast of characters and combined them into an easy to read, enjoyable book that educates, inspires and entertains.
What I Loved: This was an easy read, and very appropriate for the audience. I loved how through Jack's curiosity you discover more about the people and environment around him; the stories that the individuals tell are true events that likely can be tracked back to a specific date and time. This is very easily the "old way" of keeping and remembering history, through story telling such as this.
Jack's character was one that I think that everyone, even the best of us, can learn from. He was curious and not afraid to ask questions, but he also watched his environment and those around him to learn what is appropriate behavior for the environment he was in. Most of all, he cared for everyone and knew how to show love and compassion without being a push over. I think that I loved this most of all. The sly (recent) history lesson was interesting and held my attention, but the book as a whole made me want to be more like Jack.
Not So Much: As far as the story goes, it was good, easy to read and was easy to follow without being overly descriptive and losing you in the process. The one bit I had trouble with was the transitions between scenes. Sometimes it felt like you were in one moment washing dishes and in the next line it was the next day. In a book like this, I'm not sure how this could be resolved, but I can say that on more than one occasion I would back up and reread just to make sure I didn't miss something between Point A and Point B.
Rating: PG Rated: 5 Stars - despite any issues I may had with the book, I loved its purpose! I cannot fathom anything lower than 5....more
My Review: Just My City Boy reminded me of an old fashion classic movie in the way that the story read. I even imagined the it in black and white in thMy Review: Just My City Boy reminded me of an old fashion classic movie in the way that the story read. I even imagined the it in black and white in the beginning; the story was melancholy until Lauren and Zack managed to come together as a couple, and then color started seeping through the cracks.
What I Loved: Lauren was incredibly outgoing, chatty and most of the time just a riot. I loved how she talked herself out of bad situations. Her confidence was refreshing as it's not a character trait often used for women in many books. Zack was a sweet sensitive guy with that military exterior and some bad boy tendencies, it is difficult not to like him.
I also enjoyed the "song theme" of the book, I find myself frequently matching up a song to characters in a book, but in this case the work was done for me. If you didn't immediately know which song I'm talking about, I challenge you to take a trip to google-land and see if you can't figure it out....then listen to it!
Not So Much: The characters seems to be either all "good" or "bad," with Zack being a sort of exception. In that way, the story felt a little bit off. For example, Peter, Zack's roommate, was completely on board with forgiveness without even understanding what really was going on with Zack. That is wonderful, and I wish people were more like that - but it just doesn't usually happen that way.
Rated: PG-13, for mild language and mild violence Rating: 4 Stars...more
This is one of those books you pick up and just devour, if you have time, in one sitting. Jesse's Girl is a perfect summer reads; one that w
This is one of those books you pick up and just devour, if you have time, in one sitting. Jesse's Girl is a perfect summer reads; one that will make you wear the big goofy grin for a good portion of the book.
What I loved: While reading, within the first chapter or two I made a note that I love Maya's relationship with her family. This rang true through the entire book. They weren't perfect, but they were supportive and loving. They had their quirks, and dysfunctions, yet they are down to earth good people, and I loved them all. I also loved that the dynamic between Jesse and Maya was toe curling-ly cute, but they also helped each other grow as people throughout the book.
More things that I loved...each chapter was a title to a song, that was awesome! In fact, the reason I selected this book on NetGalley was because the title is the name of a song, and I just had to know what it was about. Also, the mention of Ferris Bueller's Day Off....bonus points!
Not so much: I'm not a fan of sex in a Young Adult novel, even if it's not detail by detail, you're left with a good idea of specific actions. I know what is realistic, and what teenagers are like, it's not that. I guess I'm just a prude (or you'll think I am anyway), but I do prefer the old fashioned "wait until you're married" option. But if this is the only thing I can list under this section, that's doing pretty well.
Rated: R - For Sex and Cussing
Rating: 5 Stars - Beautifully written love story with life lessons and laugh-out-loud moments.
Feel free to checkout my other reviews on Goodreads, or my blog I Loves 2 Read
Going back to read Sarah Dessen is basically me going back to my roots. When I started reading again, after High School ruined the fun for me and I haGoing back to read Sarah Dessen is basically me going back to my roots. When I started reading again, after High School ruined the fun for me and I had to rediscover the joy in reading, Sarah Dessen was one of the first authors I picked up, and then devoured all of her books. There are a couple of her books that I wouldn't consider my favorites, but they are the exception to the rule. Whenever I find myself needing a good book that isn't too intense, but whose characters I know I will love forever - Sarah is my go-to. I love following a long as her characters are usually somewhat broken people who are learning to find themselves. Beautiful pictures and examples to our young adults, I will always recommend her books when someone is looking for a good read for their teenagers.
Saint Anything is exactly that. This book dives into the life of Sydney in the middle of the drama, but that drama is all her brother's, and she owns none of it (yet). Throughout the book you start to love Sydney and can relate to her feelings and her empathy, and root for her on her quest to be not invisible within the walls of her own home.
What I Loved: The family that took the show: The Chathams. Their example of a simple family who have their issues, but man they are bonded. You get the impression that while they don't always get along, they would have each other's backs at the drop of a hat. The fact that they took Sydney in as one of their own, and just understood and listened to her from the beginning; well that is exactly how I feel like people should behave all the time. No one is perfect, we all have flaws and hiccups, but we should love people unconditionally, and help them when they ask for it.
Not So Much: The only part of the entire story that I could even think to include here was the point where Sydney's parents went out of town and left her in charge of her brother's friend Ames. (Ames is another thing I 'like - not so much,' but I hope that is a normal reaction). Anyhow, we get half a day of this weekend where you know things are going to weird and creepy, and then the scene jumps to after. It felt abrupt, and actually made me wonder if there were some things edited out there. ...more
W-O-W. I just finished listening to The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and that is the first word that comes to mind. On average it takes me 2 days to listen tW-O-W. I just finished listening to The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and that is the first word that comes to mind. On average it takes me 2 days to listen to an audio book, and yesterday I was thinking, 'yes I love these characters and the world that Melinda Salisbury has created, but while we're getting a lot of background, world building and learning about the legends and where Twylla comes from and who she is now, there’s just not a lot of action.' Today, however, as I was listening there was a bit more drama, a bit more action, and loads and loads of revelation. I’m a lover of fairy tales, I absolutely adore reading new adaptations to old stories and how the authors begin to make an old world new or completely different. I had never heard the story of The Sleeping Prince prior to listening to this book, but I can tell you I’m completely engrossed now. This book (fairy tale) of legends, gods, and betrayal was wonderfully written, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
Rated: PG-13 - Book has 'fade to black' sex. No cussing. Genre: If I go by my normal standards, I'd have to put this as a New Adult, although it's pegged as Young Adult in stores. Rating: 5 Stars...more
Typically Alexis and Ryan's story is the exact kind of romance novel where I would quote my mantra, "sometimes more of a good thing is too much," becaTypically Alexis and Ryan's story is the exact kind of romance novel where I would quote my mantra, "sometimes more of a good thing is too much," because so often with books that aren't something outside of fiction/romance (ie dystopian, fantasy, mystery, etc) we DO want to know what happens next, and then when an author delivers this on this desire the next book is just not as good or disappointing in some way (this has been my personal experience anyway.) With The Beds Series this has not been the case, in fact I think that I liked this book, Lonesome Beds & Bumpy Roads, the most out of all three because while Alexis and Ryan still have issues and things to work through they have grown so much as individuals. I felt that while things were hit and miss between the two of them through the whole book, they were communicating instead of shutting each other out. They weren't being very understanding of each other's feelings the entire time - but they did come to realize that eventually.
I actually started out this series with the prequel novella, True Love and Magic Tricks, so I am always happy for scenes with Kaylee and Nate as well; the four of them are a unit, and even though the series is over, in my mind I can envision their lives, marriages, and future kids (who will also be best friends,) - it's like the ultimate big bow. My favorite part of the Lex/Ryan relationship; the two of them are so sweet, funny and the biggest goofballs; the relationship between the two of them lack some of the extreme seriousness that is so popular lately, and was a breath of fresh air. I relished their tickles, and teasing; the relationship felt so genuine and happy - and honestly, I had the "big goofy grin" throughout most of this series. ( I LOVED the covers and all the teasers that reflected this part of them, they were simply the perfect representation).
Life, Love & Lemons was a cute story about Bentley and how her life went from the most popular, top of the cla(I received this book via NetGalley)
Life, Love & Lemons was a cute story about Bentley and how her life went from the most popular, top of the class girl to the new girl at the public school down the street. Her life is a bit of a mess, but she's taking it in stride and trying to do what she can with it. What I liked about this story was the sweetness between Bentley and Malakai, and their friendship despite their differences, they took what they had and made it work. I also enjoyed Bentley's growth throughout the book, and the growth of her self confidence.
I had a bit of a tough time with the book as a whole though; I felt like we were only scratching the surface of most of the characters I mean I get a general idea of all of them but I feel like somehow there was depth missing. I also felt like the story was being spoken to me rather than me feeling like I was a part of it. I wasn't getting a full picture, just a day-to-day update of the events in a way. There were a few inconsistencies that were pretty minor, but the way that expressions were spelled out rather than just made exactly what they are actually confused me (ie: oh-em-gee...this is OMG, I had no idea the first few times I read it...).
As I started off, the book was a cute story despite my misgivings. If you are looking for a quick, cute, fun read with some character growth, I wouldn't pass Life, Love, & Lemons up.
I have to admit, when I think of Christian Fiction books, my first thought is 'it's probably cheesy at best, preachy at worst.' There are some great,I have to admit, when I think of Christian Fiction books, my first thought is 'it's probably cheesy at best, preachy at worst.' There are some great, GREAT Christian books out there, there are great fiction books about stories of the bible not written specifically to be Christian out there as well, but even though that is true, the vast majority of Christians Fiction books are not very good, and are just not a story that you can relate to; and that is sad. I think there are a million and one historical Christian novels that are probably great, I've read one or two and have found them enjoyable, but they are just kind of bland, and I don't want to read a million and one renditions of the same story. I AM a Christian, and I AM a reader - I love to read books, but I do not seek out Christian Fiction. However, that may be changing, because in the last year I've found at least two authors who know how to write a faith-based novel that speaks to my heart, and whose characters are real and believable, and whose setting is...well, current both and timeline and in life in general.
I love Sway, that is the plain and simple truth. I'm not sure if this was her heart, but Amy Matayo has written a book that is not necessairly meant to entice you to Christ (though, it might happen) but a book that was written for a Christian to speak to a Christ-like heart. I found myself reflected both in Kate and Caleb at different times; their struggles were real, the passion was real, and the romance (YES, we Christians like the heat too) was so real. Throw in some great supporting characters, one secretary stands out specifically, and you've got this awesome heart-filled and compelling novel. My own faith and attitude towards some of the people in my life was challenged while reading this book. So, thank you Amy, for taking my pre-concieved notions of what a Christian Romance probably looks like and throwing it out the door. Thank you for writing a novel that entertained me, and also challenged me. Please, keep it up!...more
Five Line Book Review: Black Ice was a wonderful YA Suspense novel. I was entranced with this book from the very start, and was getting irritable becauFive Line Book Review: Black Ice was a wonderful YA Suspense novel. I was entranced with this book from the very start, and was getting irritable because I wasn’t finding time to finish it (my poor husband can attest to this). Although I found the “mystery” of the novel easy to predict, the journey was the entertainment of the book. I also enjoyed how Britt’s character was perceived completely differently by every person she interacted with, and feel that this is a testament to her being whoever she needed to be to fit the scenario, however it is ironic that the person she was when she was lost in the woods with Mason, was probably had best picture of who she is when she is allowed to reach her full potential. On one hand, this book was pretty different from the Hush, Hush series Becca Fitzpatrick wrote previously, however the elements of the ‘bad-boy’ guys she writes are definitely still present in this book!
Rated: PG-13, Some violence, mild cussing Genre: Young Adult - Romance, Suspense Rating: 5 Stars ...more
Doves for Sale is what I would call a ‘big goofy grin book,’ as that is what was on my face for nearly the entire thing; I loved the fun-ness betweenDoves for Sale is what I would call a ‘big goofy grin book,’ as that is what was on my face for nearly the entire thing; I loved the fun-ness between Ezra and Aysa, yeah their lives are still pretty crazy (who’s isn’t, really?) and they still had stuff to work through, but I was just in love with these characters getting back together and finding some stability and trust between them. Then there was the new relationship between Knox and Aysa, and their banter that at times had me laughing out loud – he is my new favorite supporting character….at least for this month. While this book didn’t have as much conflict as Sparrows for Free, it provided that “sigh” worthy HEA that I love. I truly did love this book and do recommend it, however you must read Sparrows for Free first, or else it will feel a bit lacking – the hardest parts of Ezra and Aysa’s story can be found in the first book. While this book had some difficulties of it’s own, it wasn’t nearly as heavy nor, thankfully, as melancholy.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dethroning Crown, if I had the time I probably would have read it all in one sitting. When I first started the book I wasI thoroughly enjoyed reading Dethroning Crown, if I had the time I probably would have read it all in one sitting. When I first started the book I wasn't sure I was ever going to actually be able to like Crown by the end of the story, he was just too much ego and honestly, silly with entitlement issues, but as aspect of his life were revealed and you started to understand him, he was easy to fall for. His sensitive side was wildly attractive. (And honestly, any time you pair a guy with a kitten, even for a short time, it's bound to be attractive. But that's just my opinion). Lyra was such a sweet person even from the beginning, despite the fact that she is a model, and I guess I have some preconceived ideas of how a model behaves (ie: see Crown), because Lyra was the opposite of that. So these two characters got under my skin and, honestly, I wanted to make them my friends.
I loved that this was not an insta-love novel where the characters were pinning for each other within the first few chapters and the rest of the book was on again or off again relationship issues. Lyra and Crown may have appreciated each other's appearances from the start, but anything beyond that was a process. They had to learn to like each other before there was anything more. The supporting characters helped out a lot with this too, especially Crown, as he was figuring out his life and the fact that he was basically a big ball of arrogant soccer player, and that was about it. There was also Lyra's fears to work out and understand, and I liked how even though we knew why Crown was the way he was pretty quickly, Lyra's whole story came out and bits and pieces. All of these things made this story of two people that, from a distance, should seem bigger than life, just regular people with issues that needed to be fleshed out.
Rated: PG-13; Mild cussing, some sensuality but realitvely clean Genre: New Adult - Romance Rating: 5 Stars...more